Colin Kaepernick

Continuing my series of “Why Should Anyone Care What I Think?”, I thought I’d weigh in on Colin Kaepernick.

He’s free to say what he wants. He’s free to protest peacefully however he wants.

The team that hired him is free to support or criticize or fire him over his protesting while wearing their jersey and thus representing the team.

The supporters of that team are free to voice, increase, or withdraw that support in response to that team’s decisions concerning Kaepernick’s choice of speech-while-in-jersey.

Everyone is free to think what they want about the whole thing. They are free to flood Facebook with oversimplifying meme pics trying to equate this with…well whatever they want, regardless of how intelligent of foolish.

Colin Kaepernick is also free to claim that Hillary is a racist, even if that makes some of his previous supporters abandon him.

Donald Trump is free to suggest Kaepernick leave the country if he doesn’t like it here.

Colin Kaepernick is free to suggest Donald Trump leave the country if he doesn’t like Kaepernick. (He hasn’t said this, to my knowledge.)

Notice a trend yet? There’s this thing called Freedom of Speech, and within certain specific limitations, it means everyone is free to say what they want, no matter what others think about it.

The people of Charlotte and San Diego are free to protest. They are not free to threaten and endanger lives, destroy property or riot.

When protesters do threaten and endanger lives, we are all free to speak against them–and police are free to arrest them for any laws they break. Anyone they threaten or endanger has a right to defend themselves.

University professors, tweeting on their own accounts on their own time, are free to speak against unlawful protest and the rights of victims to defend themselves. And people are free to get upset about it if they feel the professor’s remarks are inappropriate. He is free to apologize and attempt to clarify his remarks–or not to do so. The university that employs him is free to investigate the incident and determine if there is any cause for action. It’s even better when the law department for which that professor works finds that his remarks were indeed protected by the First Amendment. They are free to be alarmed by those remarks, even while protecting them, and are free to say so.

In every case above everyone is acting within their rights. The First Amendment continues to work–at least in these cases mentioned. And you are free to disagree with that, and voice your opinion as you see fit. You are even free to call me an idiot. And I’m free to agree with you, or even beat you to it.

We now return you to your life. Really folks, nothing to see here. Situation as it should be. Continue with your lives. Or change. That’s also entirely up to you.

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