In case you've been living under a rock, or somehow made it to this crappy blog without accessing the actually legitimate site that runs on the same platform that ran the story, Chris Kluwe wrote a piece on the Vikings cutting him because of his outspoken stance on same sex marriage. This, of course, led to some Grade A dipshittery on the Internet.
I won't recap Kluwe's words for you, you can go to the original article and read those for yourself, but it became clear to me, before I finished the article, that it would be met with two things: praise for Kluwe for exposing another instance of cartoonishly antiquated attitudes in NFL locker rooms, and derision for what could be argued as a self serving maneuver to get Kluwe back on NFL radars. Both of those things came in spades.
First and foremost, I want to point out before I get labeled a member of the PC Police, Obama's homosexual agenda, BIG GAY, or whatever people are calling things they disagree with these days that I was far from someone who thought that Phil Robertson should have been thrown off of Duck Dynasty for his comments.
Robertson, while I strongly disagree with him, wasn't as bad as Mike Priefer during the show's GQ profile by Drew Magary. Besides, when people say stupid things like Robertson did, I can ignore them or, even better, say "scoreboard" while pointing to a map outlining that same sex marriage is on its way towards becoming legal in all fifty states, whether he likes it or not. So there's clarification on that.
My real problem comes from people who have come out in support of Kluwe's termination for reasons other than his actual football abilities or his salary, instead citing reasons such as "the employer has a right to fire you if you make waves":
It blows my mind that there are people who are unironically in agreement with the Minnesota Vikings cutting Kluwe for speaking out for basic human rights against their wishes, instead of asking the obvious question: "why are the Vikings trying to suppress an employee from being in support of basic human rights?" or "if the dreaded DISTRACTION is more detrimental to the NFL's locker rooms than the fight for some of its athletes, and people around the world, to be treated equally, don't we need to change the very structure of the NFL?"
Of course, plenty of the people who are playing the "companies can fire employees for unwanted publicity card" against Kluwe were outraged that A&E gave into the dreaded "PC Police," complete with scare quotes, and suspended Phil Robertson a few weeks ago.
Perhaps even worse than those people, though, are the ones who were all about free speech when crusading for Robertson to stay on Duck Dynasty, but are now firmly in the opposite corner, citing that Kluwe's company can do as they please in regards to his employment if he says anything about anything. Just read this steaming pile of shit in the ESPN.com comments section of their Kluwe post.
Just read that third comment. Phil Robertson's opinion was solicited by a reporter, whereas Kluwe's was not, so Robertson was within his rights to oppose fundamental human rights, while Kluwe should have shut the hell up and embraced a locker room culture where homosexuality is so taboo that Aaron Rodgers had to go on the radio ONE DAY after rumors about his sexual orientation swirled to denounce them. That, simply put, is the dumbest thing I have read in a long time.
This of course takes us back to America's number one talking point over the last month: the First Amendment which, at this point, may just be a can of red or blue Play-doh, which allows idiots who blindly support either color (or side of the aisle but, let's face it, political affiliation at this point is pretty much the same as cheering for a sports team in that it doesn't matter who is on your team, you're still going to cheer for your color no matter what) to mold it into whatever is convenient at the time.
My biggest question in all of this: why isn't #IStandWithChris trending on Twitter the way that #IStandWithPhil did for multiple days? Where did all of the champions of the First Amendment go from the time of the Phil Robertson controversy until now? While I'm not surprised that they all disappeared when something that didn't fit their political agenda occurred, I am just disappointed as a fan of consistency and, for lack of a better term, non-stupidity.
The First Amendment has become so much of a way to hide behind your blue or red tinted viewpoints that Deadspin's Sean Newell wants it to die in 2014. While he obviously didn't mean that he wanted America to become a journalist-killing police state, he's already been labeled a communist by some of the brightest commenters on the Internet. In a sad way, they, along with the anti-Kluwe crowd, make me wish that Newell's wish would come true.