NFL play­ers are free to ex­er­cise their rights

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - Editorial Page -

ED­I­TOR, TIMES-DIS­PATCH:

Re­gard­ing your re­cent ed­i­to­rial, “In Trump vs. the NFL, the con­test isn’t even close”: Found­ing Fa­thers James Madi­son and John Adams ar­tic­u­lated an im­por­tant corner­stone of Amer­ica’s na­tional iden­tity, con­cisely warn­ing us against the “tyranny of the ma­jor­ity.” To that point, the NFL play­ers, by kneel­ing dur­ing the an­them, were ex­er­cis­ing their unas­sail­able civil, con­sti­tu­tional right to ex­press a mi­nor­ity cause, in a repub­lic where the First Amend­ment pro­tects fullthroated po­lit­i­cal be­liefs.

The most re­spect­ful way to honor our na­tion, our flag, and our mil­i­tary is never to choke off the First Amend­ment by sum­mar­ily dis­al­low­ing mi­nor­ity opin­ions. In an en­light­ened repub­lic, ideas are king; ideas should not be feared. If an idea or cause is deemed wrong — even pro­foundly dis­agree­able — one has the same First Amend­ment right to counter that idea with coun­ter­claims sup­ported by sound facts and rig­or­ous logic, framed ar­tic­u­lately, knowl­edge­ably, and pow­er­fully, yet with an open-minded ci­vil­ity.

Cen­sor­ship is a thin veil be­hind which op­po­nents un­con­vinc­ingly re­treat to their com­fort zones.

KEITH TIDMAN. B MD.

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