Freedoms are a two-way street

Oct. 17, 2017 at 3:12 p.m.
Updated Oct. 16, 2017 at 3:12 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

These "protests" by NFL players have succeeded in turning me off pro football. I've had it with highly overpaid crybabies "protesting" during the playing of the national anthem before the games and disrespecting Old Glory. I cannot imagine what they expect to accomplish. I doubt they change very many hearts and minds by "protesting" prior to a football game. People buy tickets to attend or tune in on television to watch a game - to be entertained - not to witness a "protest" that has nothing to do with the game or the sport.

In my working career, I never worked any place where the management would have allowed me to "protest" while on the job and representing my employer. I would have been fired - and rightly so - immediately. The stadium is the workplace of the football players, and their uniforms represent the teams. If they have a beef with police officers shooting unarmed people, they should be "protesting" at the police station, city hall, the county courthouse or the state capitol. If they feel the need for publicity for their "protests," they can call the television stations to send reporters and camera crews and notify the newspaper who will probably cover the "protest" for the next day's edition. A football stadium, a basketball court or a high school volleyball gym is not the place to do it.

Much is made of the "protesters'" right to free speech. I'm not saying they don't have the right to protest what they believe to be injustice. But I, along with a great many other fans, am exercising my rights to turn off the games and to not attend the game at the stadium and to not purchase NFL merchandise. The players have the right to "protest." They do not have the right to force me to listen.

The First Amendment prohibits Congress from making laws that interfere with a citizen's right to speak. That right is greatly restricted in a private sector workplace. A person may indeed have the right to call his boss an idiot, but the boss has the right to fire the guy who called him an idiot.

I figure that by the time the NASCAR season is over, I will have been successfully weaned from the NFL. I can watch Netflix movies instead of football.

Carl Bankston, Victoria



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