Speaking Your Mind Comes with a Price

I was thinking long and hard as to how I should approach this.

Normally I do not take a run at fellow Steelers fans, but I have some words for Hank Williams, Jr.

First of all, I am not upset at him for having an opinion on politics.  Hell, not many people who lean to the right would like agree with half of my political views (I’m a moderate).  However, as it states in the Bible, there is a time and a place for everything.

Williams was upset about his first amendment rights being abused.  While he issued an apology, he seemed bent over ESPN canning him over what he said about President Barack Obama.

Here is what I have to say to Williams, and to everyone who supports Williams: the first amendment protects us from the government creating laws to prohibit free speech.  Last I checked, ESPN is not the government.

ESPN is a private entity that has the right to conduct its business however it sees fit.  ESPN, in a statement, stated that “Monday Night Football” has always been about the football.  It’s not about some yahoo – right, wrong or indifferent – mouthing off about political views concerning the president, the war, or anything else.

Therefore, if an ESPN employee or someone affiliated with ESPN says something controversial or offensive (remember Rush Limbaugh?), then ESPN has a right to break him/her off.  Every business entity conducts its business that way because, well, its bad for business.

The last thing ESPN needed was those folks from MSNBC crying about why Williams wasn’t let go or to have itself dragged through the political news cycle.  ESPN simply did what it had to do.

Look, I support anyone for speaking his/her mind on all matters.  But as I tell those people, don’t be upset if the consequences are severe.

After all, you reap what you sew – free speech or not…

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4 replies

  1. The problem is that Williams didn’t liken Obama to Hitler. He said that Obama and Boehner playing golf together would be like Hitler and (I don’t remember who the other one was). Granted, like a jersey tug gets a holding flag, when you invoke Hitler (or a number of other charged words), it’s likely everything else will be obscured, but when you have the tape, you can get the context.

    • Good point David.

      Anytime anyone invokes “Hitler” in his/her statements, shit will go down and go down HARD. You just do not do that, regardless of the point you are trying to make.

  2. Agreed. No law has been misunderstood as much as the 1st Amendment. Plenty of idiots think that it means they can say whatever they want whenever they want. A public figure has to be very careful about defaming someone’s character.

    Reminds me of when Michael Jordan was asked why he doesn’t support more political causes. His famous response, “Republicans buy shoes too”.

    Hank would have been smart to realize that ESPN tries to attract as many eyeballs as possible, regardless of political viewpoints.

  3. You do not mention Hitler in the public eye unless you want a shit storm rained upon your head.

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