My Opinion – NFL Thought Police Arrest Free Speech

By: Royal Alexander

Kneeling to protest the National Anthem endorsed but reasonable comparisons between Jan 6th and 2020 BLM riots punished

This past week the ‘ Woke’ NFL again demonstrated how asleep it is to the reason for its unpopularity and lost viewership.

Coach Jack Del Rio, defensive coordinator of the Washington Commandeers (formerly the Redskins) stated:

“A simple question,” Del Rio said on June 8. “Why are we not looking into [the riots at the protests], if we’re going to talk about [the Capitol riot]. Why are we not looking into those things? … I see 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.”

He had also tweeted on June 6th “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.”

In response to those comments, Commander’s head football coach, Ron Rivera, levied a $100,000 fine against Coach Del Rio.

WOW. That’s quite a punishment for merely asking a question about a current, highly relevant issue in our country.

Why was former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick allowed—if not encouraged—to protest alleged police brutality but Del Rio is punished for merely asking a question and highlighting a clear inconsistency?

Let’s look back at the 2020 Summer of Riots.

Recall the orgy of violence, rioting, looting, murder and hate speech by Antifa and BLM that was merely deemed “peaceful protesting” by the Democrat Party and the national Left. The 2020 riots caused injuries too numerous to count including more than 2000 injuries to police, 18 deaths, and nearly $2 billion in property damage due to the looting and arson.

Recall the enormous damage and destruction of hundreds of historic monuments and statues across the country; or the church in D.C. that was nearly destroyed.

It is simply beyond dispute that Antifa and Black Lives Matter engaged in domestic terrorism.

Was any of this emphatically denounced by Joe Biden or the Democrat Party and the national Left? No, it was encouraged as a political tool to be used against President Trump.

We were told that the kneeling in sports venues across the country was “in protest of racial injustice.” (Please recall how former NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow, was harshly criticized for kneeling in prayer while Colin Kaepernick remains widely praised).

We quickly moved past demonstrations protesting the death of George Floyd and calling for police reforms. That early effort, universally supported as it was, was replaced by the rioting and destruction we witnessed daily in 2020.

Let’s compare that to Jan. 6th.

We should remember that there were comparatively few lawbreakers while over a million of our fellow countrymen that day marched, sang, and prayed for their country. I have friends locally who attended, as did many others across Louisiana, as well as family in Virginia, and they didn’t plan or intend for one moment to do anything but exercise their freedoms of speech, expression and free exercise of religion while peacefully making their views known. Those guarantees are as iron clad as any that exist in our Constitution.

A fraction of those at the march have been charged with trespassing, assaulting law enforcement officers and criminal damage to property. Many have either pled their cases or they will be tried, and evidence will be presented, and an impartial jury of their peers will decide their guilt or innocence beyond a reasonable doubt.

So, why haven’t the Summer of Riots lawbreakers been arrested and prosecuted as the Jan 6th individuals have?

Because the preferred narrative of the Woke Left is to lionize protestors of “police brutality” while unfairly smearing and maligning the million plus patriots who showed up on Jan 6th, whom they deem racist and bigoted.

Coach Del Rio simply underscored that hypocrisy and has paid a steep price for it, financially and reputationally.

If the NFL, as a so-called “private” corporation, wants to be free to censor some speech while allowing speech it favors, it may do so. However, it needs to surrender the litany of enormous financial benefits it derives from the anti-trust exemptions it receives under state and federal law.

Until it does so, it needs to be required to allow all speech as a quasi-public government entity under our 1st Amendment.

Royal Alexander is an attorney, writer, and former politician in his native Shreveport, Louisiana. In 2007, he was the Republican candidate for Louisiana Attorney General. In addition to his law practice, Alexander is an opinion writer, a guest lecturer at public events and education forums, and a frequent guest on various TV and radio outlets.

The views and opinions expressed in the My Opinion article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Winn Parish Journal. Any content provided by the authors is of their opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

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