Tonights post has been pushed to tomorrow morning, as this subject is too important. Ive seen a lot of backlashing regarding Mike Evans decision to sit for the National Anthem yesterday. It would seem most of the comments have to do with it also being a Veterans Day type event, with it deemed Military Day at Raymond James Stadium. So lets discuss a few issues.
For starters, Free Speech. Lets be clear, like a warranty on a Brand New Car, its not 100% covers everything. Its a limited Warranty, and our right to Free Speech is limited as well. We cannot go into a movie theatre and yell “FIRE”, we cannot claim Free Speech because McDonalds employs us and tells us we have to say “Have a wonderful Mc DAY” or whatever other silly phrase one could make up. You work for the company, thats your choice, so they can tell you what to say. You have an out.
Yelling Fire in a theatre is a danger to health and lives, and thats bigger than, and above Free Speech.
But for the rest of the time, 99% of the time, we have the right to say what we want, and feel how we want.
Lets examine that for a minute, because in some ways that is becoming more and more limited. If Im in a group of people and I say who I voted ford President, thats my right to say that. Every one else in the group has the right to debate that with me. They have the right to call me dumb, they have the right to say my vote was wasted, and to quote my college Comp 1 Teacher, basically the right to have ANY Opinion that they can back up with an explanation.
If the whole group however, or even a majority of them, tell me they are not going to be friends with me anymore because of my statement, or my vote, that is not respecting my right to free speech. Because now I have to choose between friendship or my beliefs.
ONE SHOULD NEVER HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THEIR BELIEF, OR ANYTHING ELSE. Because that is not a choice, thats forced.
Mike Evans probably should have stood up for the national anthem, and with it being Military Day, he probably should have thought that his actions would offend people. But Mike Evans is practicing exactly what it means to BE an AMERICAN. We don’t have to agree with his actions, but we do have to agree with his RIGHT as an American Citizen, to sit or stand for the anthem. Because if we don’t, we are doing what so many have tried to do for years, that’s take away our rights.
Threatening to not go to Bucs games at Raymond James is NOT your right to free speech, its attaching a condition, attaching a choice to Mike Evans beliefs, as if there is a choice between his beliefs, and your attendance. THERE CAN NEVER BE A CHOICE BETWEEN A BELIEF, AND ANYTHING ELSE. It cannot happen because it goes against the fundamentals of our Rights as Americans to have Freedom of Speech.
I have to be able to say my feelings WITHOUT FEAR OF REPERCUSSION OF ANY KIND! How can my words be free, if they are forced or suppressed??
It’s no different than telling someone to leave the country if they want to feel a certain way. You have the right to WANT me to leave the country! I know there are people I wish would leave our Solar System! But telling me that I have to either “Believe in This, or get out of America” is not giving someone their right to free speech, its doing what the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Empire of Japan, and droves of other countries could not do:
Its taking away our right to free speech; by attaching a condition or a choice, where none can exist. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to make a rule that requires its players to stand for the National Anthem, thats a different story right? The Bucs are a business, and like the McDonalds situation, Mike Evans has to do what his employers tell him to do…right?
Wrong. And Dead Wrong too; because in the case of McDonalds, you have a choice to work at McDonalds. You can quit if you don’t want to say “Here’s your McChange ” : Mike Evans cannot quit because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in CONTRACT with Mike Evans , they own the rights to NO.13 after they drafted him. He has NO OPTION But to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the NFL is the organization that dictates policy, and the National Football League making a rule that Players must stand for the National Anthem wont work because they cannot create a punishment that would take away Mike Evans his right to Free Speech.
And no one living in these United States should be trying to do so.
There is a reason our Military goes off and fights wars; they go to protect our interests in the world. They go to protect our rights, and our Freedoms. Sitting down during a national anthem is not really a good thing to do if you ask me, but thats my opinion on the matter. If Mike Evans wants to sit down to protest he has that right, and we have the right to debate him, but not to punish him, or take away his right to express how he feels. When you do that, your not disrespecting Evans, Your disrespecting our Military who FOUGHT WARS TO PROTECT his rights.
OUR FLAG is a GREAT SYMBOL of HOPE and FREEDOM, it is NOT a worthless cloth! Its a symbol of our FREE COUNTRY. To me, anyone who burns a flag is a horrible person. You may say your making a point which is preserved by your freedom of speech but I say you can find a better way to make that opinion heard than disrespecting so many people. I would never Burn a flag, nor ever support the ideal of anyone who does.
But the minute you try to create a LAW the prohibits Flag Burning, is the minute you have taken something away from the symbolism that is the Flag. The Flag is a symbol of being American, of being AN AMERICAN…Making a law that prohibits the action removes one more layer of freedom from what it truly means to be Free.
I realize this concept is going to be hard for some people to swallow, they will attempt to change my words by saying “You support flag burning” when clearly I have said I do not. To these people I would ask them one question:
Is it right to make a law to prevent someone being offended?
Think about that long and hard…Think of all the ways someone could be offended, and think of how you could, or could not, make a law to stop offending them. Then ask yourself, would you be in favor of making that law a reality?
Were going to be offended in our lives, its bound to happen. But if the only way to stop you from offending me is to make your words illegal, I don’t want any part of that, thank you. To Mike Evans I would say….you have a press conference on Wednesday, you can make your statement then, without offending anyone. I also dont think you should protest the legitimate results of an election. Protest the candidate, but not the election. This is what everyone thought the Trump team would do, so its hypocritical do the same thing after a different result than expected.
I don’t like you sitting during the national anthem, But I support your right to do it.