Why are we even surprised anymore?
I’m smack dab in the middle of a moral conundrum. I believe very strongly in the First Amendment, in the Freedom of Speech it provides to every American citizen, regardless of the vitriolic, hatemongering things they may have to say to us.
I do not agree with what Tim Hardaway had to say. But I would fight to the death to protect his right to say it. There's a reason that this country is still considered to be at the forefront of the personal rights debate, and why a Democracy is thought (by most) to be the most advanced form of government the human race has ever conjured up. There's a reason that the creationists in the great state of Kansas are the laughingstock of the scientific community, and there's a reason that they just don't care. So excuse me if I take a few minutes and use one idiot’s personal image suicide to climb up on my soap box and preach.
Personally, I am unbelievably sick of the moral arbiters in this country telling me what I am and am not allowed to say. If I decide that I am against a certain topic, be it White People, Black People, Asian People, Native Americans, the Inuits, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, Muslims, Homosexuals, Heterosexuals, Kids, Middle Aged People, the Elderly, or all of the above, I have the right to say so. You might not like it, and if so, then stop listening. Very simple. What I actually believe, though unimportant to this argument, is that everyone lives their lives the way they feel is right. Period. I may not like it, it may not be the way I live my life, but I have no problem with what you do. I’ll go my way, you go yours, and we’ll all live happily ever after.
That’s the problem we have run into with this particular example – Hardaway made a very public statement, and rather than report it and then ignore it as just complete ignorance, the mainstream media (and bloggers like me) have picked up the story and run with it. Within hours of the “news” breaking, there were fifty different opinions on the web, on the radio, on the TV, and on their way into newsprint for the early editions.
Why can’t we just let this die? Just let Hardaway ride off into the career ending sunset alongside John Rocker, Nick the Greek, and Fuzzy Zoeller. Everyone under the sun has already heard the rant, formed an opinion, and come down on the side of “He’s right” or “He’s wrong”. No one stopped to think about the other side: “Who the hell cares?”
Most people in
So again, I ask – Who really cares what Tim Hardaway thinks about gay people and the state of gay rights in
Perhaps the most important question here is this: Why are we surprised? Why are we all standing here, mouths agape, wondering how a – gasp! – professional athlete could possibly put his foot so far down his own throat? I mean, we all look up to pro athletes – they’re supposed to be so much better than us in every possible way – how could one ever harbor such politically incorrect views?
At this point, we should just expect pro athletes to open mouth, insert foot at least once in their short time in the limelight. These people are coached (poor choice of words, sorry) from infancy until adulthood, and then beyond, to believe that they are the apex of humanity. That they are the best at what they do, they are infallible. That nothing they could say or do could ever be wrong – everyone they interact with has always agreed with them in everything they have done, why would the public be any different?
Then one of them opens their mouth on air, and suddenly the entire American population is subjected to a few weeks of “sensitivity training”.
I give up. Everyone just say what comes to mind. Say what you feel. Just remember – you have complete Freedom of Speech in
…As long as nothing you have to say offends anyone else, anywhere, anytime.