Indiana Legislator Wants To Force NFL Team To Hand Out Refunds To Fans 'Offended' By Kneeling Players

from the First-Amendment-protects-speech-I-like,-all-others-pay-cash dept

Free speech isn't free, people trying to stifle your free speech will often remind you. It's dumb enough when it's just your fellow man. It's way worse when it's your elected representative. (via PrawfsBlog)

An Indiana lawmaker is filing legislation that would require the Indianapolis Colts to offer fans refunds if Colts players kneel during the national anthem at home games.

The lawmaker is Milo P. Smith, a lawmaker who has pushed forward legislation opposed by his own offspring to satisfy his base. This appears to be more of the same. Smith's anti-kneeling bill not only poses Constitutional problems, but it completely misconstrues the reasons NFL players kneel.

Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus, said his bill would allow fans who feel disrespected by the kneeling to ask for a refund during the first quarter.

"To me when they take a knee during the national anthem, it’s not respecting the national anthem or our country," Smith said. "Our government isn’t perfect, but it's still the best country in the world and I think we need to be respectful of it."

Kneeling doesn't "disrespect" paying customers. If they want to feel offended by it, that's their prerogative, but it's not directed towards them. And it has nothing to do with not respecting the national anthem, the United States, the troops fighting for these players' freedom to express themselves, or anything else related to patriotic jingoism. It's a protest of ongoing oppression of African Americans in the United States. That's what has been diluted by attacks on this particular form of protest. Not only have people like Smith managed to turn the protest into an anti-American statement, they've shifted the players' goalposts away from the law enforcement target to an assault the flag, the troops, and every other symbol of unquestioning patriotism.

Smith is dumb and his proposed law is dumber. Even if it manages to survive a vote on its highly-dubious merits, it certainly won't survive a Constitutional challenge. As Howard Wasserman of Prawfsblog points out, there are numerous ways the law could be construed as government infringement on free speech rights.

[T]he law infringes the Colts' First Amendment rights by sanctioning them (or setting them up for sanction) if they do not prohibit their players from kneeling. If we understand the team as exercising its First Amendment rights when it decides what its players can do, the law abridges that right and for reasons of disagreement with the team's speech in allowing its players to kneel.

A law also can violate a person's rights even if it does not prohibit some actions, by empowering or obligating private persons to take certain steps that harm that person... The same logic is at work with this statute--the Colts are essentially being fined for not stopping the players from kneeling and so will prohibit kneeling to avoid the fine.

In this case the fine comes in the form of a ticket price refund, provided the offended person leaves the game before the end of the first quarter. So, it will basically appeal to those with the same mentality as our Vice President, who apparently attended an Indianapolis Colts game solely for the purpose of being offended. His walkout and attendant statement of offense was apparently directly ordered by President Trump. The demands for refunds by "offended" attendees will serve the same virtue-signalling purpose VP Pence's leaving-in-a-huff did: to briefly ascend a shitty bully pulpit to preach to the converted. (Facebook videos of jersey-burnings optional.)

This bill has zero chance of going anywhere because it's so obviously targeted at silencing protected speech. Considering Smith has done nothing more than talk about this bill so far (it has not been submitted to the legislature at this point), it would appear Smith has plenty of opportunities to run his mouth about speech he doesn't agree with (a.k.a.: more speech). This alone renders his First Amendment-harming legislation superfluous. The Constitution will render the law illegal, should Smith ever put his taxpayers' money where his offended motormouth is.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    ryuugami, 5 Jan 2018 @ 3:56am

    FTFY

    "Our government isn’t perfect, but it's still the best country in the world [citation needed] and I think we need to be respectful of it."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 4:14am

      Re: FTFY

      What makes me laugh is that if questioned on what makes it the best, the answer would inevitably contain some variation on "freedom!" and he wouldn't even begin to understand the irony. I'll never understand the rabidly jingoistic or blindly worshiping types at the best of times, but the type who will demand obedience to symbols while violating what those symbols supposedly represent are a special kind of stupid.

      As an aside, I also wonder if he had the same demand for blind worship during the last presidency, or if this is a recent development over the last 14 months or so... I reckon I know the answer already.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 5:10am

        Re: Re: FTFY

        Our government isn’t perfect, but it's still the best country in the world and I think we need to be respectful of it

        Given the lack of affordable healthcare for a good chunk of the population and the risk that, even if you think you are properly insured, a major health issue can easily bankrupt you.

        Given that the US is by a country mile the leading practitioner of judicial murder (aka capital punishment) outside the islamic/communist world.

        Given that even the left in America seems to ne spectacularly intolerant of opposing views.

        Best country in the world?

        pull the other one.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 5:13am

          Re: Re: Re: FTFY

          "Given the lack of affordable healthcare for a good chunk of the population and the risk that, even if you think you are properly insured, a major health issue can easily bankrupt you."

          Far fewer than pre-ObamaCare and before Don the Con's destruction of ObamaCare (post-ObamaCare).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Richard (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 6:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: FTFY

            I'd agree that Obama's health initiaive was a big step forward - and am heartened by the fack that Trump and the Republicans can agree about how to change/replace it.

            However the healthcare/political culture in the US meant that Obama's plan was always going to be flawed "the best he could get away with".

            In the UK I dream about an NHS with US levels of health spending (relative to GDP of course). You spend about twice as much as we do and a big chunk of your population is still not properly covered.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            ralph_the_bus_driver (profile), 8 Jan 2018 @ 7:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: FTFY

            Trump has loudly claimed he repealed Obamacare. We now have Trumpcare. Whatever happens now belongs on his shoulders.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:23am

          Re: Re: Re: FTFY

          "Given that even the left in America seems to ne spectacularly intolerant of opposing views."

          As if the right is? .... Oh please, not this crap again.
          The party bullshit has gone too far this time, anything to get our man in the white house regardless of the consequences ... yeah - that shows some real tolerance there doesn't it? And they are continuing to become even more intolerant every day.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:35am

          Re: Re: Re: FTFY

          "Given that even the left in America seems to ne spectacularly intolerant of opposing views."

          If you're suggesting that we're intolerant of stupidity: yes.

          If you're suggesting that we're intolerant of ignorance: yes.

          If you're suggesting that we're intolerant of racists, bigots, homophobes, xenophobes, Nazis, white supremacists: yes.

          If you wish to support these things, then you are inferior, and you should be mocked, belittled, abused, bullied, and silenced. There is no place for you on my planet. You're not a person: you're just an animated bag of meat, and the sooner you're butchered for your organs, the better.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: FTFY

            Diplomacy at its best - right here.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: FTFY

            It's this kind of moral superiority that convinced me to leave the left. Sad to see it's still there.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: FTFY

              If you think that "the left" is anything other than a rough way to describe a side of the political spectrum and not representative of any actual group of people, then I'm sure some people are glad not to have someone that uneducated among them.

              It's not a team game, you're dumb for believing it is, no matter which team you cheerlead.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 11:52am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: FTFY

              "It's this kind of moral superiority that convinced me to leave the left. Sad to see it's still there."

              Yes, certainly - one individual represents the entire group of hypothetical people that just might fit a particular stereotype that many believe to be accurate in its description.

              Way to prove your point ... which was - idk what it was.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ThatFatMan (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 5:14am

      Re: FTFY

      “Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?"

      It’s not the greatest country in the world. That’s my answer… [turns to a panelist] Sharon, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paycheck, but he gets to hit you with it anytime he wants. It doesn’t cost money, it costs votes. It costs airtime and column inches. You know why people don’t like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fucking smart, how come they lose so goddamn always? [turns to another panelist] And with a straight face, you’re gonna tell students that America is so star-spangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom. Japan has freedom. The UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom! So, 207 sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom. [turns to the student who asked the question] And yeah, you… sorority girl. Just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there’s some things you should know. One of them is: there’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force and number 4 in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies. Now, none of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you, nonetheless, are, without a doubt, a member of the worst period generation period ever period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about! Yosemite?!
      [Silence]
      It sure used to be… We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reason. We passed laws, struck down laws, for moral reason. We waged wars on poverty, not on poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were and we never beat our chest. We built great, big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists AND the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it. It didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election and we didn’t scare so easy. We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed… by great men, men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.”
      ― Aaron Sorkin, The Newsroom Script Episode 1

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        ryuugami, 5 Jan 2018 @ 6:06am

        Re: Re: FTFY

        Exactly the scene I was thinking of when I wrote the GP. Clip on YT.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 6:58am

        Re: Re: FTFY

        , number of adults who believe angels are real

        There a 51 countries in the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation where the proportion of adults who believe angels are real surpasses the US. So you are at best 52nd in that category.

        (NB if you are officially a Muslim then it is an absolute requirement of the faith to believe that the Koran was given to Mohamet by an Angel) and in all those countries more than half the population is officially Muslim.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          ryuugami, 5 Jan 2018 @ 10:54am

          Re: Re: Re: FTFY

          (NB if you are officially a Muslim then it is an absolute requirement of the faith to believe that the Koran was given to Mohamet by an Angel) and in all those countries more than half the population is officially Muslim.

          Have you seen actual polling data about "belief in angels", or have you reached that conclusion purely from the religion census?

          I'm asking 'cause belief in angels is also an absolute requirement of Christianity and Judaism. Using data from Wikipedia, and assuming belonging to a religion means believing in all tenets of that religion, ~80% of USAians believe in angels (It was ~98% 50 years ago).

          Of course, "identify as Christian" is mostly a cultural thing and means absolutely nothing about actual beliefs, so real percentage is likely a lot lower... but the same can be said about Islam, especially in countries where you can get literally killed for "blasphemy". (Which is also a far worse category of not-greatness than believing in angels, but that's another story.)

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:26am

        Re: Re: FTFY

        "It sure used to be"

        Everything is relative.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PlagueSD (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 10:53am

      Re: FTFY

      I think the opening scene in the HBO Series, "The Newsroom" hit the nail on the head. I'm saddened that the show was cancelled. I guess it hit a little too close to "home".

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCEu-WWgB7s

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 4:14am

    How about handing out refunds to taxpayers who were duped into paying for overpriced stadiums?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ThaumaTechnician (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 5:09am

      Re:

      Actually, I came to say:
      So, when a church doesn't pay taxes, it means everyone else has to pay more taxes, so how about charging taxes back to a church when it says something that offends someone?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 8:19am

        Re: Re:

        The existence of tax-free churches that espouse political positions offends me.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The existence of tax-free churches that espouse political positions offends me."

          Yup - but not as much as those Prosperity Gospel types that purchase themselves a new G6 with donations to the "church".

          Some one who actually believes what they preach from their bible would not be using donations to enrich themselves in any way, they would not be building multi million dollar temples in which to preach from and they would not try to change the political world wide map.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PNRCinema (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 4:48am

    Sad thing is...

    The players in the NFL have completely lost their message by the news media turning this into another chance to bash the President because of his inability to stop shooting his tweet off...the players should be coming down HARD on the networks, the cable news stations, and the print media for diluting what they're trying to do. I admit, I wish they'd find another way to get their point across, because I do feel it's a bit disrespectful to the Anthem, but they absolutely have the right to do it unless it's prohibited by the team's rules. And most of the teams have avoided that hot potato for right now, but may not in the future if they keep taking massive hits in ratings and thus in revenue generated for the greedy bastard owners ...heh heh..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 5:26am

      Re: Sad thing is...

      The sad thing is, you're blaming the press for accurately reporting that the president is using their protests to attack them, rather than blaming your president for attacking them to begin with.

      "I admit, I wish they'd find another way to get their point across, because I do feel it's a bit disrespectful to the Anthem"

      Why do you think that a song deserves respect, especially one that hasn't been your national anthem for a century yet? Shouldn't the constitution, freedom and equality be more important than the song?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PNRCinema (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:19am

        Re: Re: Sad thing is...

        "The sad thing is, you're blaming the press for accurately reporting that the president is using their protests to attack them, rather than blaming your president for attacking them to begin with."

        I don't have to like him to acknowledge that he's 'my' president; he IS in the office, after all. I didn't particularly care for the last two occupants of the office either. It is what it is. And I was referring to the way the media hijacked the issue - I agree that they were absolutely correct in pointing it out, but isn't it their duty to also try in their reports to highlight the REAL reason for the protests? Many of them couldn't be bothered to do that, and I think they should have been a bit more explanatory in their coverage in that way, and it would have been nice if they had bothered to be a bit more sympathetic to the players; by focusing the arguement on the President's tweets, it turned the issue in a completely different way, and the players, who were/are genuine in what they were protesting, got the blame from everyone, which made things worse than they already were/are - sorry if I didn't make that more clear.

        "Why do you think that a song deserves respect, especially one that hasn't been your national anthem for a century yet? Shouldn't the constitution, freedom and equality be more important than the song?"

        to me, the song deserves respect because it officially represents our country, not because of what it says; the song was an odd choice to begin with and it is VERY dated, and in reality is more representative of our FLAG more than our country. Hell, in all honesty, I'd prefer "America The Beautiful" or even "This Land Is Your Land" or something as goofy as "The Great American Melting Pot" as an anthem lyrically, because they speak of the beauty of the land (or in the case of "Melting Pot" of our country's diverse immigrant-centric population), and not one battle fought in a time of a war that no one remembers and that history doesn't teach us much about. I guess I'm thinking of it this way - if an athlete had an attack of "crazy feet" (VERY dated Steve Martin reference, heh heh) when our anthem was played after winning a gold medal at the Olympics, people would be outraged...not because of the song but because the person representing us made an asshat of himself and in turn made everyone in the US look like idiots...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:59am

          Re: Re: Re: Sad thing is...

          "Many of them couldn't be bothered to do that"

          Many outlets are nothing but tabloid trash that won't ever cover real issues regardless of the subject, and this is true of many outlets across the world. But, if you think it's a waste of time them reporting the way they do, it's even worse whining about them. If it bothers you this much, you should perhaps find the outlets that covered the issue in the way you preferred (and they will exist), and spend your time supporting and promoting actual journalism. A far better way to spend resources than whining that shallow clickbait outlets did shallow clickbaity things.

          "to me, the song deserves respect because it officially represents our country"

          You see, this is where we disagree. I'm British, and I don't particularly care for "God Save The Queen". I'm an atheist, not a particular supporter of the royals, and think that the song is a tiresome dirge compared to other songs that are often brought up as better replacements. It deserves no respect itself, it's just a song.

          To my mind, it's a placeholder for national pride where people are representing our country. When that happens, it's the people representing us who deserve the respect, not some random song we've been told is the placeholder. Remember, the article is about someone trying to replace your country's ideals (freedom of speech) with mandatory worship in violation of those ideals.

          Be in reverence of your country and what it stands for, not whatever piece of cloth or random notes someone's told you represent them. If you changed your anthem, the country's values wouldn't change, so why put up with being told you have to worship it?

          "not because of the song but because the person representing us made an asshat of himself and in turn made everyone in the US look like idiots..."

          Don't worry, your president is doing a brilliant job of that without any sportspeople getting involved. In fact, the rest of us would probably appreciate the light entertainment, since the majority are mystified by the sport of American Football in the first place.

          The bigger question would be - why do you need to hear your national anthem before games where both teams are from the same country in the first place? That's the first issue to consider - if both teams are American, then where does patriotism come into play in the first place? I don't get that at all. At the Olympics where the countries are represented individually then sure, but where both teams are from the same country, or even the same city?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PNRCinema (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 1:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad thing is...

            Actually, I don't need to hear it - I've always thought it was kinda corny. And I certainly see your point with respect to the UK anthem and how someone with your personal beliefs wouldn't approve of that sort of song; I wouldn't either under those circumstances. I think my idea about finding a song to celebrate the country and it's people rather than static ideals, like the flag, the Royals, and such, falls in line with that, a little bit at least. And for the record, I'm not a fan of football at all, either American or UK...i'll take my extreme sports any day...:-)

            And as for Trump, he wasn't the first and won't be the last to make us all look like idiots to everyone in the world - there are 535 people in the Capitol building who have been doing that since the country began...a lot longer than the billionaire in chief has been doing it...sure they change every few years, but the idiocy they all love to do doesn't change...and people like Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters have it down to an artform...heh heh heh...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Thad, 5 Jan 2018 @ 1:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad thing is...

              there are 535 people in the Capitol building who have been doing that since the country began...

              I'm pretty sure most of them haven't been there that long.

              Maybe John McCain.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Tanner Andrews (profile), 8 Jan 2018 @ 5:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad thing is...

            The bigger question would be - why do you need to hear your national anthem before games where both teams are from the same country in the first place?

            Because no one knows the state anthems of Florida and New York. Neither, in Florida, do many people distinguish the state anthem, 15.0326, from the state song, 15.0327, though at least many people would recognize the state song.

            Few people consider that the more likely state anthem or song, Orange Blossom Special, might be deemed dismissive of New York, from which the performer expresses hopes to flee.

            There. More information than you had in mind, I am sure.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 8 Jan 2018 @ 5:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad thing is...

              Thanks for the info, but not only does that not really answer the question, it reinforces my point. If a song to represent each team was to be played, it would make sense, whether that's an official state anthem, a school song or a random popular song chosen by the team. But, since both teams are represented by the same song, it makes little sense to play it (apart from the mindless jingoistic idol worship reason, of course).

              Anthems before games make logical sense when they're used as a differentiator and introduction to each team. It makes no sense if everyone is expected to support a single thing represented by the same anthem, other than brainwashing.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:07am

          Re: Re: Re: Sad thing is...

          to me, the song deserves respect because it officially represents our country, not because of what it says;

          Because it represents our country is the exact reason that protests against it should be protected.

          Unless our country no longer represents freedom...perhaps those offended by the protests might want to consider exactly whet the fuck those veterans were fighting for before whining like bitches about their poor feelz.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Sad thing is...

          the song deserves respect because it officially represents our country

          A flag is a piece of cloth, a song is an arrangement of words and musical melodies, and a statue is a given material shaped in the form of a person or thing. None of them deserve automatic, unquestioned respect because they exist. The principles and ideals that those symbols represent, ideals such as “you can speak your mind about whatever you want in any way you want”, are what deserve respect.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2018 @ 8:19am

          Re: Re: Re: Sad thing is...

          "I don't have to like him to acknowledge that he's 'my' president"

          I do not think that argument holds water.


          "song deserves respect"

          Respect is earned

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          ralph_the_bus_driver (profile), 8 Jan 2018 @ 9:48am

          Re: Re: Re: Sad thing is...

          What makes the anthem represent this nation? Dang, the one Dollar bill has more to do with America than the anthem.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 9 Jan 2018 @ 1:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad thing is...

            "What makes the anthem represent this nation?"

            Herbert Hoover signed a bill in 1931 stating that the song is the official national anthem.

            Which makes it even stranger that so many people are so blindly devoted to having it revered less than a century later.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:31am

      Re: Sad thing is...

      The better question is, why do we play the anthem before sporting events?

      When and why was this ceremony started?
      Why not stop playing the anthem?
      How is sports coupled with patriotism?

      Maybe things are a bit more complex that you allude.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:50am

        Re: Re: Sad thing is...

        No idea on the particulars of when and why the tradition began, but it does not stop in part because the United States military-industrial complex pays a shitload of money to the major sporting leagues for advertising and pre-game or halftime PR spots involving veterans.

        Really, though, there is no good reason to play the anthem before a sporting event between American teams. A truly international game, such a hockey game between a Canadian team and an American team, could justify playing the anthem by playing the foreign team’s anthem first and calling it a show of respect between the two countries. But if we’re talking, say, Bulls/Celtics? Nah, no need to play the anthem. In the end, it is performative patriotism, especially given how pissed off people got at Colin Kaepernick for his example of legitimate patriotism.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 4:53am

    Puzzled by this protest

    I for one am puzzled by this protest. Why now?

    I remember Tommie Smith's protest at the 1968 olympics - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_Olympics_Black_Power_salute It was a poweful statement - enhanced by the solidarity shown by the white Australian athlete who came second.

    At the time black people in America were only just beginning to emerge from segregation.

    Since then a lot has changed for the better - so why now?

    I realise that there has been a lot of publicity and some high profile cases of police heavy handed trigger happiness. However it seems to me that the base problem here is the police's tendency to shoot first and ask questions afterwards. You do not have to be black to encounter this problem and the policeman does not have to be white to cause it. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/28/justine-damond-shooting-prosecutor-delays-decisi on-mohamed-noor

    It has affected blacks disproportionately because of more general economic disadvantage which causes their communities to interact with law enforcement to a greater extent.

    Now if you say that it is actually a protest about that economic dosadvantage itself then I would reply "So why protest now? Given that this disadvantage has been slowly decreasing for the last 50 years it would have made more sense to have continued Tommie Smith's protest for the whole of the last 50 years rather than to resart it now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 5:19am

      Re: Puzzled by this protest

      Your comment reminds me of the backlash against the people who came out against Harvey Weinstein. Somehow, it's not good enough for them to relay their message clearly and protest peacefully against injustice, it's all for naught if they didn't also do it at the right time as determined by random measures. Doesn't matter if they are just or right, they should shut up because they didn't speak up sooner.

      "Since then a lot has changed for the better - so why now?"

      Because a hell of a lot still hasn't, and in fact some of it has gotten worse? Athletes currently working today are making their protests known today about issues they care about today, that's not really a mystery.

      Are you honestly saying that nobody should protest a cause if things were worse at some random point in the past?

      "You do not have to be black to encounter this problem and the policeman does not have to be white to cause it"

      However, it does seem to happen disproportionately to black people, even when you take into account their higher likelihood to have police contact in the first place for the reasons you mentioned. There's always outliers, but when you have images of white people being taken unharmed into custody after having killed a bunch of people (Dylann Roof, for one example) while black people are shot dead for literally following police orders (Philando Castille, as one example), it's not hard to see what these people are protesting.

      You may disagree with the severity and think that things are better than in the past, but what exactly is wrong with people who are currently able to get their protest noticed being able to protest their chosen cause?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:58am

        Re: Re: Puzzled by this protest

        our comment reminds me of the backlash against the people who came out against Harvey Weinstein. Somehow, it's not good enough for them to relay their message clearly and protest peacefully against injustice, it's all for naught if they didn't also do it at the right time as determined by random measures. Doesn't matter if they are just or right, they should shut up because they didn't speak up sooner.

        Now go back and read what I ACTUALLY said before you lump me in with a bunch of people that you knee-jerk disapprove of. The point is that there has been a steady drip drip of these events over the years - so I wondered: "Why now?" and also why this particular form of protest.

        What is wrong with posing those questions?

        Lets face it these sportmen are all highly paid "winners". For the most part they personally are not affected by these problems (not so true back in the days of Tommie Smith). In fact these are people at the level of society where they can literally get away with murder and ironically they can leverage the spectre of anti-black discrimination as part of the strategy to do it (cf OJ Simpson).

        The fact remains that if (as in the UK) the police were not routinely armed then a large part of the problem could not happen. In those cases where firearms are not part of the problem then the police tendency to regard (by default) anyone that they encounter who is not "one of them" as a suspect is the root of the problem. (cf the Tomlinson case in London and one or two personal dealings that I have had with the police) It may be amplified by racial factors but the problem would remain even if those were not present.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 8:19am

          Re: Re: Re: Puzzled by this protest

          "Now go back and read what I ACTUALLY said"

          I did. My reading of it hasn't changed - you're criticising people for speaking out about long-standing issues.

          "The point is that there has been a steady drip drip of these events over the years - so I wondered: "Why now?" and also why this particular form of protest."

          Common sense should tell you these things. Most social issues bubble under the surface. Occasionally things happen to bring them to light outside of the affect communities, sometimes flashpoint events occur that mean that people are no longer willing to accept them. One day, the downtrodden feel the need to stand up, even if objectively they didn't have it any worse today than they did yesterday. That applies to all issues, big or small - if I ask for a raise today, that doesn't mean I suddenly stopped being happy with my salary today, it just means that today is the day I decided to speak up about feeling underpaid for some time. That neither negates my need for a raise nor makes it suspicious that I waiting until I thought the request would succeed before making it.

          As for the form of protest - what's wrong with it, specifically? People with national attention upon them call attention to their chosen issue in an elegant, peaceful and eloquent way, using their fleeting platform to benefit others rather than use it for their own personal benefit. They used the least confrontational, last violent, most visible way for them to make their point.

          What, specifically is wrong with that?

          "Lets face it these sportmen are all highly paid "winners""

          So? Do successful people lose the right to protest on behalf of people who haven't had it as good as them now? They don't get to help out friends and family and those like them because they found success? Many of these people are from communities that are still very much affected even if they personally escaped.

          "For the most part they personally are not affected by these problems"

          So what? I'm not gay or female, and often their problems don't directly affect me. Should I not be helping those communities out now? Or, am I still OK to do things on behalf of the people I care about even if I don't benefit directly?

          "The fact remains that if (as in the UK) the police were not routinely armed then a large part of the problem could not happen."

          The specific problem of random shooting by police perhaps. There would still be the problems of things like institutional racism and disproportionately harsh treatment of minority groups (which i can assure you very much happen elsewhere, even if we have the tendency not to kill people as often as Americans do).

          "cf the Tomlinson case in London"

          You seem very good at pulling out famous cases that many would see as the exceptions to the rule. I suspect that if you took an overview of all cases, however, there would be less of those exceptions and disproportionately more of the rest, which is the point.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Richard (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 8:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Puzzled by this protest

            you're criticising people for speaking out about long-standing issues.

            NO I AM NOT.

            I never criticised anyone - for protesting. I merely queried why.

            You read that as a criticism - it was never internded as such.

            So? Do successful people lose the right to protest on behalf of people who haven't had it as good as them now? Where did I say that?

            You seem very good at pulling out famous cases that many would see as the exceptions to the rule. I suspect that if you took an overview of all cases, however, there would be less of those exceptions and disproportionately more of the rest, which is the point.

            btw it's "fewer" not "less" None of the deaths - black or white are anything other than exceptions to the rule, unlike in earlier times. The number of such cases is (thankfully) small enough that no kind of valid statistically analysis is possible.

            I thought when I put in the first comment that a mindless knee-jerk reaction from someone like you was quite likely - and you did fall for it hook line and sinker.

            I was trying to raise the issue of the social dynamics that creates these protetsts at certain times and places and amongst certain groups. How does technology influence things, for example? But Oh no - you had to interpret the comment another way.

            Actually I suspect that these protests are happening now because the african american community is actually now more powerful and self confident now than it has ever been and feels able to protest at things that it would have simply accepted in the past. The fact that it is powerful and wealthy members of the community that are taking the lead here speaks volumes.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:30am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Puzzled by this protest

              "NO I AM NOT.
              I never criticised anyone - for protesting. I merely queried why."

              OK, questioned rather than criticised, wrong choice of word on my part I suppose.

              "Where did I say that?"

              You questioned why they were protesting about things that didn't directly affect them. What was the point of that if not to suggest they shouldn't do it?

              "I thought when I put in the first comment that a mindless knee-jerk reaction from someone like you was quite likely"

              If that's what you thought it was, you're clearly not interested in what I was actually saying. You do seem unable to defend your own points, though, and have clarified nothing.

              "I was trying to raise the issue of the social dynamics that creates these protetsts at certain times and places and amongst certain groups"

              But, the answers were obvious. Time - when there's been an upsurge in stories about black people being killed. Place - the games where the people who wished to protest knew it would have the greatest attention. Amongst certain groups - the groups who feel most strongly have spoken out, the ones who don't haven't.

              How is any of this unusual or confusing to you?

              "How does technology influence things, for example?"

              That's literally the first time you mentioned technology. If that's what you want to ask, why not ask it rather than the silly things you've been asking?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Jan 2018 @ 8:21am

          Re: Re: Re: Puzzled by this protest

          "Lets face it these sportmen are all highly paid "winners"."

          How much do the bench warmers take home?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 6:15am

      Re: Puzzled by this protest

      I am puzzled as to why the national anthem is played at sporting events.

      Oh wait, no i'm not. It's about jingoism from the start. We refused to bow to the Red Menace just like we refused to live in fear of terrorism. By acting like infants. National anthem at corporate sporting events? Check. Forced pledge of allegiance in schools? Check. Inserting references to god into our money and pledge of allegiance? Check. Repressing with renewed vigor all manners of groups and people who have nothing to do with despotic communism or terrorism (or most hated flavor of the time) because they would like to change the status quo. Yep that's always good.

      That's why submissive authoritarians get so pissed off about this. They live for that sort of "patriotism". It's like the mechanical religion of the Romans.

      Your theories on why Blacks are affected by some things are wholly incorrect. And the economic disadvantage has the same distant and proximate causes it always had, in addition to causes shared with other groups.

      Why now? Someone thought of the particular mild form of protest recently. Why generally over the last few years? It might possibly be that things are in fact getting worse, and communication and organization are getting easier. Also, some people may have had some weird sense of hope, having a Black president for 8 years.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 8:01am

        Re: Re: Puzzled by this protest

        I am puzzled as to why the national anthem is played at sporting events.

        When all the participants are from the same country!

        Understandable to play anthems of participating countries at true international events - but in parochial, pointless US only sport??

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 8:09am

        Re: Re: Puzzled by this protest

        Your theories on why Blacks are affected by some things are wholly incorrect.

        Since I only had one theory, and you sort of partially approved it anyway. I don't understand what you mean there - plus you never explained why or offered an alternative.

        Also, some people may have had some weird sense of hope, having a Black president for 8 years.

        cf women and Margaret Thatcher - it doesn't work like that in practice.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:36am

      Re: Puzzled by this protest

      So you do not recognize your white privilege, ok - but do you deny it exists? Is this because you have not experienced it or is it because you have researched the topic and have concluded that it does not exist?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 8:16am

        Re: Re: Puzzled by this protest

        So you do not recognize your white privilege,

        Where in my profile can you tell what race/colour I am?

        Privilege comes in many shapes and sizes. I am lucky to have been born where I was and of parents who valued education and had the resources to enable me to progress. Earlier generations in my family did not have these advantages and had a harder time as a result. Most of all I am lucky to have been born in the 20th century rather than any earlier time.

        Isolating one form of privilege in order to make an ad hominem political point is disgraceful.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 5 Jan 2018 @ 8:58am

      Re: Puzzled by this protest

      Since then a lot has changed for the better - so why now?

      I realise that there has been a lot of publicity and some high profile cases of police heavy handed trigger happiness.

      It sounds like you understand just fine.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:59pm

      Re: Puzzled by this protest

      It is not merely that people are killed by cops, it's that when it happens there is no justice. Often the cops face only a slap on the wrist and paid leave, sometimes paid leave, rarely they are fired (often to be rehired by a different police department), and only in the most provably egregious cases are they indicted, and even when brought to trial are rarely convicted.

      It's not just tragic, it's injustice that erodes faith in the government's ability to serve justice at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 1:38pm

      Re: Puzzled by this protest

      I for one am puzzled by this protest. Why now?

      Because it got noticed and picked up steam.

      Who knows why Colin Kaepernick chose the time that he did to start sitting during the anthem? Something seemingly happened between the end of the 2015 season and the 2016 pre-season that caused him to make that decision.

      Then it got reported on, and a few other people agreed with what he was saying and joined in.

      Then no team would hire Kaepernick, which brought more attention to his protests, and more people joined in.

      Then President Trump called for the firing of people who don't stand during the anthem, and the idea that they shouldn't be allowed to protest offended so many people that whole teams knelt for the anthem.

      Had the people who were offended by Kaepernick not standing just ignored it (they could have called it a "publicity stunt") and not made a big deal of it, it probably would have gone away. Instead, it provoked a reaction, so people joined in.

      That's main reason "why now." I'm not saying that there aren't legitimate grievances contributing to the timing, but there have been various legitimate grievances for decades; things have gotten better, and worse, and better, and worse again. The reason "why now" is because it got attention, and that's the both the main goal and the biggest challenge of any protest.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 5:29am

    This tech related?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    crade (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 6:07am

    Don't know about down south, but if someone walked out after the anthems here and asked for a refund for any reason they would get it anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Norm_bone (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 6:12am

    Smith wouldn't know a principal if it bit him on the butt

    I was incensed when my son told me about this story. Not only because I disagreed with Smith's position, but the fact that he's proposing this measure only for when _Colts players_ protest, not when the visiting team does.

    For argument's sake, pretend that there is some justifiable need and authority for this law. Taking a knee during the anthem is so harmful that it warrants penalizing the team in order to protect the citizens of Indiana.

    Taking all that as true, what possible justification is there for only mandating a refund when the home team kneels? Isn't it just as disrespectful, just as harmful, when the visiting team does?

    It needs no deep analysis to see why this is BS, but the ridiculousness of this posture is astounding.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:23am

    Yo, minion! Got some RARE response to this DULL topic!

    Just look at these "accounts, listed with day started:

    Norm_bone: May 9th, 2016 https://www.techdirt.com/user/dkroll5555 -- 18 month gap after first comment, which occurs FREQUENTLY!

    ThatFatMan: May 9th, 2016 https://www.techdirt.com/user/thatfatman -- Begun and now back on same day as above!

    PNRCinema: Mar 21st, 2016 https://www.techdirt.com/user/pnrcinema -- Only 7 comments, 6 month gap after first.

    What are the odds that ALL of these show up out of the blue in one topic, huh? I've made more comments in one day than all three have in 19 months!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:32am

      Re: Yo, minion! Got some RARE response to this DULL topic!

      "What are the odds that ALL of these show up out of the blue in one topic, huh? I've made more comments in one day than all three have in 19 months!"

      It's hilarious that you think you've discovered some grand conspiracy (which doesn't even make sense) rather than something important about your own posting habits.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:53am

      Re: Yo, minion! Got some RARE response to this DULL topic!

      I've made more comments in one day than all three have in 19 months!

      And you are the only one that cares.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:44pm

      Re: Yo, minion! Got some RARE response to this DULL topic!

      They have also contributed to th discussion, while you desperately make up a conspiracy theory in an attempt to discredit Techdirt.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:23am

    Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus, said his bill would allow fans who feel disrespected by the kneeling to ask for a refund during the first quarter.

    Funny how the party who loves to throw around the term "snowflake" is so easily offended.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:28am

    Techdirt valiantly supports the right of millionaire entertainers to annoy fans.

    So long as the protest is ANTI-USA.

    Really, kids. Just take a step back and consider that MILLIONAIRES are disrupting MILLIONS of people who came / watch for simple diversion, NOT to see the performing monkeys crap in their hands and fling it at the crowd.

    Oh, and, kids... Heh, heh, I LIKE this stupid "protest" because is killing off the NFL!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:40am

      Re: Techdirt valiantly supports the right of millionaire entertainers to annoy fans.

      Sorry to have disturbed your beer infused "diversion". Please do not wipe your hot wing fingers on the upholstery.

      Other people may have lives that may differ from yours - shocking .. I know, but it is true. Asking them to stfu is not very nice is it?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      RedBeard (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 8:07am

      Re: Techdirt valiantly supports the right of millionaire entertainers to annoy fans.

      How is a player taking a knee "disrupting MILLIONS of people who came / watch for simple diversion"? You should not even notice the players, you should be solemnly standing, looking at the flag and singing the anthem. The players are not setting things on fire, shooting off fireworks or throwing beer bottles at people. The only problem with the players' protest are all of the snowflakes that have no understanding of the principles this country was founded on.

      So when you are at home and the national anthem plays do you remove your hat and solemnly stand, with your hand over your heart to sing the anthem?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:23am

        Re: Re: Techdirt valiantly supports the right of millionaire entertainers to annoy fans.

        "So when you are at home and the national anthem plays do you remove your hat and solemnly stand, with your hand over your heart to sing the anthem?"

        Poster probably cuts a really big one and blames the dog before screaming at those ungrateful millionaires taking a knee.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:33am

      Re: Techdirt valiantly supports the right of millionaire entertainers to annoy fans.

      If they refused to play, you might have a point. But not standing for the national anthem in no way disrupts the game.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:33am

      Re: Techdirt valiantly supports the right of millionaire entertainers to annoy fans.

      If they refused to play, you might have a point. But not standing for the national anthem in no way disrupts the game.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:55am

      Re: Techdirt valiantly supports the right of millionaire entertainers to annoy fans.

      Just take a step back and consider that MILLIONAIRES are disrupting MILLIONS of people who came / watch for simple diversion, NOT to see the performing monkeys crap in their hands and fling it at the crowd.

      A person does not lose their right to protest, to express themselves via a disruption of the status quo designed to attract attention toward a given cause, because they have six zeros or more in their bank account.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 7:43am

    snowflake

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 8:22am

    Start Small, Aim Big

    Let's hope he also introduces a bill to refund the $620 million in taxpayer funds used to build the stadium in the first place.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:27am

      Re: Start Small, Aim Big

      It's bad enough that taxes are demanded for stadium funding as if the sport were not profitable, but then the city sells naming rights and your taxpayer stadium is now known as (insert corporation name here) instead of what it was named in the past.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 8:46am

    This seems one-sided

    I get how the media gives attention to this guy for this idiotic quest to create restrictive laws and spend taxpayer money defending it, but where's the side of the story that talks about the people who don't agree with this?

    Where are the quotes from the other lawmakers who think this is a dumb idea? Why isn't the other 99% of the Indiana legislature speaking up against it or giving quotes to the media? Are they afraid that everyone in Indiana will vote them out if they denounce this bad proposal?

    What's the old saying about how it's easy for bad things to happen when good people won't do anything to stop it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:02am

      Re: This seems one-sided

      I get how the media gives attention to this guy for this idiotic quest to create restrictive laws and spend taxpayer money defending it, but where's the side of the story that talks about the people who don't agree with this?

      That's what we call a "dog bites man" story: it does not get news coverage because it is not news; it is expected. If a man bites a dog, that's news.

      Where are the quotes from the other lawmakers who think this is a dumb idea? Why isn't the other 99% of the Indiana legislature speaking up against it or giving quotes to the media? Are they afraid that everyone in Indiana will vote them out if they denounce this bad proposal?

      Possibly. Indiana is a conservative state; it's quite possible this proposal is popular.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:23am

        Re: Re: This seems one-sided

        "Possibly. Indiana is a conservative state; it's quite possible this proposal is popular."

        It's also possible that nobody could be reached for comment, that they're holding comment until they've actually done their jobs and debated it, or any number of other reasons. Is it actually commonplace for the press to get everyone to comment on everything that's filed (not passed, but filed)?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:21am

      Re: This seems one-sided

      Do those quotes routinely get trotted out when legislators file, or are you just complaining here because you can't address the article itself?

      I mean I might be missing something here, but don't they normally get reported when they file objections in their role in government and have that reported on, rather than everyone rabbiting to the press when one of them files something?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jan 2018 @ 9:29am

      Re: This seems one-sided

      Sounds like you are an aspiring journalist, why are you not out there digging up answers to these questions?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 5 Jan 2018 @ 12:40pm

    Can I get a refund for being offended by legislators?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.