Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Kaepernick's Protest Spills over into College Football

A number of college players and at least one marching band have decided to join in Colin Kaepernick's protest by kneeling during the national anthem. Some of the band members refused to play.

This is causing all sorts of negative reactions.

Protests are meant to make people feel uncomfortable or angry and attempt to open a dialogue. When people feel threatened they will usually look for a way to neutralize the threat. Those solutions can be either positive or negative.

I'm seeing a fair number of negative reactions. Right wing nut jobs calling for the players to be cut from the team and for coaching staffs to be fired.

ESPN in Fayetteville is taking a novel approach and protesting the protest of the East Carolina University marching band by not broadcasting the next ECU game. The band was also reportedly loudly booed at halftime as well.

Freedom of Speech does not guarantee freedom of consequences as long as those consequences are from private individuals and not the state.

The halftime boos are themselves Freedom of Speech.

Firing coaches or cutting players at a public university is probably a violation of the 1st Amendment. At a private university perhaps not so much.

The ESPN Fayetteville decision is an interesting one. They are not only reacting to the protest that occurred but are essentially insuring that a 2nd protest doesn't get a wider audience than the fans at the game.

When college students protest the presentations by alt right commentators guaranteed to deliver offensive racist or misogynistic messages by trying to have their invitations to speak revoked, they are criticized by the right wing. I don't see the ESPN decision to be much different so I'll expect to see howls of indignation about ESPN from the academic freedom crowd any day now (*cough, cough*).

So far I don't see any problem with players or band members making their concerns about the deaths of young black men at the hands of police known. I think it's an issue that needs to be brought out into the open and discussed.

From what I've seen, I think in most cases the police are acting appropriately. In most cases but not all. It will never be perfect because none of us are perfect. The question is can it be made better?

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