If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
— George Orwell
I am so tired of people who:
- Do not understand the importance of free speech, that is, allowing people you do not agree with to say what they want.
- Want to squash free speech for political ends.
Here’s what Jack del Rio said(opens new window) in response to a story about the Jan. 6 commission that was so completely out-of-line that the NFL fined him 100,000 dollars:
Would love to understand ‘the whole story’ about why the summer of riots, looting, burning and the destruction of personal property is never discussed but this is??? #CommonSense
Later, because so many people apparently jumped on that tweet he wrote:
I don’t care if people don’t agree with this. So what? He is simply voicing his opinion, something not currently allowed, or if allowed one must pay the consequences. Here’s what his head coach, Ron Rivera, said about the hefty fine.
Why are we not looking into those things — if we’re going to talk about it — why are we not looking into those things? I can look at images on the TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down, no problem. And then we have a dust-up at the Capitol, nothing burned down, and we’re going to make that a major deal. I just think it’s kind of two standards, and if we apply the same standard and we’re going to be reasonable with each other, let’s have a discussion.That’s all it was. Let’s have a discussion.
He does have the right to voice his opinion as a citizen of the United States and it most certainly is his constitutional right to do so. However, words have consequences and his words hurt a lot of people in our community. I want to make it clear that our organization will not tolerate any equivalency between those who demanded justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the actions of those on January 6 who sought to topple our government.
I don’t give a flying fuck if his words hurt a lot of people in the community, if his words triggered lefties in our current totalitarian regime. I don’t care. So many people do not understand the importance of allowing someone you do not agree with to express their beliefs. If you want to say abortion is a sin, you should have the right to say so. If you want to say that abortion is a God-given right, hey, go right ahead. It’s a free country, or at least it used to be. If you want to say the COVID vaccines are the safest vaccines in the history of the world, you should be able to say that, and if I want to disagree with you I should be able to voice that opinion too.
The minute, the very second, companies, institutions and governments begin telling you what opinions you can and cannot express is the day we have lost our freedom. In many segments of our societies around the world, this is already the case. The obvious, Free Speech 101, tenet is this: if we’re going to limit free speech, who decides? I feel almost silly bringing that up, but apparently a large segment of our society does not understand the implications of this, that is, that the next opinion to be banned may be their own.
Someone may argue, well, del Rio can say it and he did. Yes, but like being coerced into taking a vaccine because you’ll lose your job if you don’t, the argument is hollow when looking at a large fine to exercise your free speech rights. I suspect Coach del Rio will think twice about future tweets that go against the accepted narrative.
But Rivera wants everyone to know he’s all for free speech. If you’re going fine somebody 100,000 thousand dollars for saying something you do not agree with how can you say with a straight face that you believe in free speech? You can’t. You’re just a wanna be despot, in this case, a low-rent wanna be despot. A useful idiot, most likely. This is intimidation. It’s letting people know this is an opinion you need to keep to yourself, currently the plight of expressing positive opinions about Ivermectin, oh sorry, I mean horse-dewormer.
Disappointed in del Rio
Jack del Rio should have held a press conference and quit on the spot. He should have told the press I will not tolerate my free speech rights being unconstitutionally violated. I am continually disappointed in people who do not stand up for themselves and who apologize for their beliefs as del Rio did later:
I made comments earlier today in referencing the attack that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. Referencing that situation as a dust-up was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry.
If he truly believes that, then great, but I suspect he doesn’t. I suspect he had to choose between his job and an apology.
The choices may get a lot harder if people do not stand up now.