The establishment media still hasn’t gotten over the NFL’s new national anthem rule.
This concern was renewed with full fury this week after President Donald Trump disinvited the Philadelphia Eagles from the White House. The Eagles were planning to send only a handful of players to the event in a clear snub to the president. Trump decided it was better to disinvite them altogether and emphasize the national anthem protests — an issue he’s already bested the NFL on. (RELATED: White House Explains Cancellation — Eagles ‘Abandoned Their Fans’)
The establishment media promptly melted down over the matter, hyperventilating over how the president allegedly doesn’t respect free expression. The disinvite happened the same week the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Christian baker who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding, a decision Trump supported. (RELATED: Christian Baker Prevails At Supreme Court In Same-Sex Wedding Cake Dispute)
At a White House press briefing this week, NBC News’ Peter Alexander asked Sarah Sanders, “If the White House supports the baker’s right of free speech, why doesn’t the White House support the [NFL] players’ right to free speech?”
It was weird moment for the establishment media to suddenly express support for those bigoted bakers following their religious faith, but defending the oppressed multimillionaires of the NFL demanded such action.
Obviously, there’s a clear difference between the baker and the kneeling athlete. The Supreme Court case determined whether the state can compel a business owner to violate their faith and serve a gay wedding. The NFL rule is a private business requiring its employees stand for the anthem during company events, or stay in the locker room if their conscience forbids them from participation.
And, unlike the Christian baker who could lose his business over such an act, the NFL player only receives a reasonable fine if they disobey the NFL’s policy. (RELATED: The NFL Anthem Decision Is Not An Assault On Free Speech)
The government isn’t infringing on the players’ free speech, regardless of how many journalists liked to believe the Constitution demands the president host the Super Bowl champions at the White House.
Oddly enough, while the establishment media was showing great concern for well-paid athletes, a prominent figure suffered serious consequences for his free speech. Now-ousted CrossFit spokesman Russell Berger lost his job with the fitness brand after he shared his religious belief on LGBTQ Pride Month.
“As someone who personally believes celebrating ‘pride’ is a sin, I’d like to personally encourage #CrossFitInfiltrate for standing by their convictions and refusing to host an @indypride workout,” Berger, who’s also a pastor, said in a tweet this week. “The intolerance of the LGBTQ ideology toward any alternative views is mind-blowing.” (RELATED: CrossFit Spokesman Says LGBT Pride Is A ‘Sin,’ Subsequently Fired)
The tweet got Berger fired, with CrossFit officials blasting their spokesman for sharing such an opinion. Ironically, the fired spokesman had praised his company for tolerating dissent prior to getting the ax.
Based on the standards set by liberals upset by the NFL’s rule, Berger should stand as a martyr for free speech. He was only stating his opinion in a public context, yet that was enough to call for his dismissal. Isn’t that the same thing the kneelers are doing?
Shockingly, none of the people upset about the NFL’s new rule cared about the fired CrossFit employee. Left-wing outlets celebrated the termination as the right call with such headlines as: “CrossFit Spokesman Fired After Calling LGBTQ Pride A ‘Sin’ In Homophobic Twitter Rant.”
Obviously, the difference is that the NFL players are standing … er, kneeling for a progressive cause while the CrossFit guy is expressing a socially conservative view. It doesn’t matter that millions of Americans agree with Berger — his company determined his message hurt the business.
Just like the NFL, which determined the national anthem protests were driving fans away. If it’s right for a company to fire an employee over a personal tweet, why is it unconscionable for another company to make its employees to stand for the anthem when millions of Americans are watching?
This week’s events demonstrate the future liberal elites envision for free speech. Everyone who is woke will have the right to share their views at any given time, with no consideration paid for cost or appropriateness. Want to interrupt a staff-wide meeting to yell about white privilege? You should be employee of the month!
Even if progressive advocacy hurts business, it must be encouraged and protected. Wokeness is more important than profits.
Meanwhile, conservatives will have to remain silent on their views if they want to keep their jobs. Even a private Facebook post would be grounds for termination under the new rules. Conservatives should even count themselves lucky for being allowed to remain on Facebook and other social media platforms.
And yes, the state must step in when someone says something offensive and it’s determined to be hate speech.
This is the wonderful future for free speech if progressives have their way. That’s why we should always ignore their cries about their side. The Left is not the primary victim of America’s censorious madness — it’s the Right.
There’s a reason establishment reporters only started caring about Christian bakers this week. They were useful to deploy for rhetorical points, even though liberals still want to use the state to make them bake that cake.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.