bookmark_borderIn praise of Aaron Rodgers

New York Jets (and former Green Bay Packers) quarterback Aaron Rodgers recently went on Joe Rogan’s podcast and shared his views on vaccine mandates and standing up for what he believes in. 

“I’m going to continue talking about this because it’s important to me. I don’t want the memories to be lost. I don’t want what I went through to get brushed over… Look at my situation, I lost friends, allies in the media, millions of dollars in sponsorship because I talked about what worked for me in my own beliefs and my own health reasons why I didn’t get vaccinated.”

I agree with Rodgers 100%. It seems that, for the most part, people have forgotten about the violations of people’s fundamental rights that were committed in the name of fighting the Covid pandemic. I will never forget the fact that my hometown of Boston decided that people like me would not be allowed into restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters, museums, or other indoor public places. The signs in restaurant windows, announcing that proof of vaccination was required to enter, will forever be seared into my memory. This policy was immoral and wrong. The people who enacted it should not be allowed to just continue with their lives, and move on to other issues, with no negative consequences.

Rodgers is right. The memories should never be lost. Violating people’s rights should never be brushed over. 

Rodgers continued: 

“You stand for something, you stand courageously for what you believe in or the opposite side of that is saying nothing or being a coward. I wasn’t willing to do that. Say whatever you want about the way I went about doing it…

In the end, I believe what I did and what I stand for is a tough position to be in. But I think it’s (an) important responsibility to continue to speak up and use my voice to give other people the permission to stand up as well because there’s a lot of people that believe a lot of the things that I believe in that don’t have the opportunity to do it, don’t have the courage to do it, don’t have the platform to do it in. I feel like I can speak for some of those people and hold the line to some of those people regardless what crosshairs that puts me in with certain media members.”

I absolutely love these sentiments.

Amen.

Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, the article about Rodgers and Rogan’s interview, which was originally published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and also published on Yahoo News, demonstrated the bias that is typical of media outlets. 

The article states:

“Rodgers claimed that people ‘didn’t do critical thinking’ during the pandemic and alleged that ‘as more research comes out, there’s more papers published in very reputable scientific publications that talk about all of the things I was stumping for and talking about.’ What exact scientific publications he was referring to wasn’t clear.”

The fact that people didn’t do critical thinking during the pandemic is not merely something that Rodgers is claiming; it is true. Far too many people failed to think critically during the pandemic, as demonstrated by the widespread enactment of, and public support for, policies that violate people’s rights. 

It’s also unnecessary to mention that it is unclear which scientific publications Rodgers refers to. The author could have simply omitted this sentence. It doesn’t add any information or explanation but is merely the author’s way of expressing his skepticism of, and disdain for, Rodgers. And expressing one’s opinions or feelings about the subject of an article is exactly what journalists should avoid doing.

Another thing mentioned in the article is that Rodgers lost his weekly appearances on “The Pat McAfee Show” due to his controversy with Jimmy Kimmel. This angers me, because Rodgers didn’t do anything wrong and does not deserve to be punished in any way for his comments on Kimmel. As I explained in an earlier post, Kimmel is the one who behaved wrongly in this situation, and therefore the one who deserves to be punished. Kimmel deserves to lose his late-night talk show more than Rodgers deserves to lose his radio appearances.

bookmark_borderDouble standards

I recently came across an article about a hockey commentator who is facing widespread criticism for making fun of a player’s name during last night’s game between the Golden Knights and Oilers. 

Commentator John Anderson said: “13 minutes to go, we’re in the second. Zach Whitecloud, what kind of name is Whitecloud? Great name if you’re a toilet paper. His first goal of the playoffs.”

Zach Whitecloud is a defenseman for the Vegas Golden Knights. He is also the first NHL player from the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation.

Unsurprisingly given today’s climate of political correctness, Anderson was widely criticized on social media, and as a result apologized profusely. In response, Whitecloud said he hoped the situation could be a ‘learning experience for everyone.”

The question that immediately comes to my mind is: would the public reaction have been the same, and would Anderson have issued the same apology, if Whitecloud was of European descent?

The presumption behind the article, and behind the social media criticism of Anderson, seems to be that Anderson’s comment was insensitive, offensive, and wrong because he was making fun of an indigenous name. 

Not that making fun of people’s names is wrong, period. 

Not that people should be kind and respectful to others as a general rule.

But rather that Anderson should have known that Whitecloud was indigenous and therefore should have refrained from poking fun at him.

Personally, I found the joke mildly amusing.

If you want to take the position that people should never make jokes about others’ names, because doing so isn’t nice, that is reasonable.

But I don’t get the sense that Anderson’s critics are taking that position. I get the sense that double standards are in play here, that people are bashing Anderson so harshly because he had the audacity to poke fun at a player who is indigenous. I highly doubt that people would have been similarly outraged – or outraged at all for that matter – if a European player had been made fun of.

If you’re going to criticize Anderson for making fun of Whitecloud’s name, do so because making fun of people’s names isn’t a nice thing to do. Don’t do so just because Whitecloud happens to be indigenous. 

bookmark_borderKirk Cousins and media bias about vaccines

I am a strong supporter of medical freedom, which means that in my opinion, people should be 100% free to decide which (if any) medical procedures to undergo, with no pressure or coercion from anyone else. This principle applies to the Covid vaccine as well: choosing to get the vaccine and choosing not to get the vaccine are equally good and equally valid choices and need to be treated as such. 

The media gets this concept wrong all too frequently, and this article about Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is a great example:

First of all, the article, by Ryan Young at Yahoo Sports, makes the mistake of describing Cousins as “antivax” because he chose not the get the vaccine. This has become an extremely common way of characterizing people who opt against the vaccine, but it is not accurate. To be anti-vaccine means exactly that: to be against vaccines in general or the Covid vaccine in particular. But choosing not to do something yourself is not the same as being against it. One can consider it good that something exists as an option, without thinking that everyone should be forced to do it against their will. This concept has proven surprisingly difficult for people to comprehend. I’m sure that Cousins, as well as most people who opt against the vaccine, have no problem with other people getting the vaccine if they want to. 

Secondly, I take issue with the wording that Cousins “doesn’t want to get his coronavirus vaccine.” This makes it sound as if Cousins is immaturely and irrationally refusing to do something that he is supposed to do. In reality, he is making a medical decision that he has every right to make. Absent evidence to the contrary, one should assume that Cousins made his decision deliberately and thoughtfully. Additionally, this might sound overly picky, but it’s technically wrong for people to use the phrasing, “his vaccine” or “her vaccine” or “your vaccine” when referring to someone who is not getting the vaccine. This makes it sound like there is a special vaccine dose allocated for that particular person, just waiting for him/her to come and get it. But if someone isn’t getting the vaccine, there is no such thing as “his vaccine.”

Third, it is wrong to say that the Vikings have the “NFL’s worst vaccination rate.” The Vikings may have the lowest vaccination rate, but that is not the same as worst. Getting the vaccine is an equally good choice as not getting the vaccine. Therefore, it’s just as good to have a team with 0% of the players vaccinated as it is to have a team with 100% of the players vaccinated.

The article talks about how Cousins has said he’s willing to hold team meetings outside (even in winter) and/or surround himself with plexiglass. Reporters questioned Cousins about why he “wouldn’t simply get vaccinated instead of going through such great lengths to avoid getting his shot.” But in my opinion, this is the wrong way of looking at things. To me, holding meetings outside or using plexiglass barriers are easier and less burdensome measures for avoiding Covid infection compared to getting a medical procedure. A more reasonable question would be: why would someone get a medical procedure just so that they can avoid having to practice physical distancing?

In conclusion, the media needs to respect medical freedom, as opposed to pressuring people to get the Covid vaccine. The media needs to present issues in a neutral way, as opposed to operating under the assumption that getting the vaccine is good and opting against it is bad. Too many articles essentially operate as opinion pieces, allowing the author’s presumptions about the vaccine to color the way that news is presented.

bookmark_borderHockey and freedom

There are few things more beautiful in the eyes of a hockey fan than hats raining down onto the ice. Last night’s Bruins win was significant not only because we’re off to a 1-0 advantage over the Islanders in the series, and not only because David Pastrnak scored his second career playoff hat trick, but also because it was the first day since the Covid-19 pandemic that sports were allowed to be played before full-capacity crowds in Boston. Even though I only watched the game on TV, I could feel the jubilant energy of the fans emanating through my TV screen, and my heart was warmed by the sight of the ice crew diligently scooping up the dozens upon dozens of hats that fans had thrown onto the ice in Pasta’s honor.

Another thing that is beautiful in my eyes as a supporter of individual rights and liberty is the fact that TD Garden does not require Covid-19 vaccination or testing in order to attend games. The joy from seeing the approximately 18,000 fans would have been tainted and hollow if accompanied by the knowledge that they had been required to undergo a medical procedure in order to be there. No one should be required to have any medical procedure in order to live his or her life, and attending sports is part of that. Yes, going to a game in an arena packed with yelling, cheering fans presents some risk of catching the virus, but that is a risk that people have the right to take if they wish. Yes, some people would feel more comfortable attending games if they knew that their fellow fans had been vaccinated and/or tested, and might choose not to attend absent these requirements, but that is exactly the way that it should be. People should do the activities they are comfortable doing, and avoid the activities they are not comfortable doing, as opposed to demanding that other people’s bodily integrity be violated in order to make themselves feel safer.

A win for both the Bruins and individual liberty is a beautiful thing indeed.

bookmark_borderTom Brady did not “get a pass” for endorsing Trump

USA Today columnist Nancy Armour recently published a deeply wrong, racist, and offensive column in which she claims that Tom Brady “has gotten an undeserved pass for his past support of Donald Trump” because he is white. Contrary to Armour’s claim, Brady has not gotten a pass because he is white. He has gotten a pass because, well, he did nothing wrong. As difficult as this may be to comprehend for those who subscribe to the intolerant ideology of political correctness, people have the right to endorse any political candidates they want. It is disturbing that expressing support for Trump is presumed to be something morally wrong, for which a person deserves to be punished.

“How mighty white of him,” Armour writes with respect to the fact that Brady once had a MAGA hat in his locker and endorsed Trump in the 2016 election. “Brady’s ability to enter and exit the debate at his choosing, to shield himself from accountability, is the height of white privilege. As this country grapples with the far reaches of systemic racism, look no further than Brady, for whom the expectations, and allowances granted, will always be different.”

The column also quotes author David Leonard, who says that “Whiteness is the benefit of the doubt… He reaps the benefits that we as white Americans reap each and every day in different contexts.”

Silly me. I thought that whiteness was a skin color. Both Leonard’s allegation and Armour’s “how mighty white of him” comment are blatantly racist.

Armour’s column is based on an idea first put forth by Shannon Sharpe on his Fox Sports show. The talk show host alleged that Brady “got a pass” for having praised Trump, while a hypothetical black athlete who praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan would have been “canceled.”

I disagree with this claim. In today’s society, white athletes, and white people in general, are overall subjected to harsher criticism than their black counterparts. Additionally, public figures who express support for right-leaning causes or candidates are criticized much more harshly in our society than those who express support for left-wing causes and candidates. As evidence of this, one need look no further than the near-unanimous support across all professional sports for the Black Lives Matter movement. Not once has any athlete, or public figure, been criticized for supporting this movement, despite the fact that its supporters have perpetrated widespread and horrific destruction of cities, businesses, and irreplaceable works of art.

“Brady has been allowed to divorce himself from it while Black athletes are made to own their views in perpetuity,” Armour writes of the QB’s past Trump support. “There is no end in sight to Colin Kaepernick’s blackballing, even though his protests to bring attention to police brutality of Black and brown people have proven to be an alarm we should not have ignored.” This contention ignores the fact that Kaepernick’s behavior – wearing socks depicting police officers as pigs and demanding (successfully) that Nike stop producing a patriotic sneaker with a Betsy Ross flag on it – is reprehensible and his “blackballing” therefore completely justified. And the fact that despite this behavior, Kaepernick is hailed almost unanimously as a hero and a victim of unjust treatment, while Brady is harshly and incessantly criticized, as the existence of Armour’s column demonstrates. 

Armour describes it as a privilege that Brady has not been asked about his views on the January 6th protest and that he is “not asked to speak for white America.” She writes: “Even Brady’s aversion to talking about politics or current events is itself a form of privilege. Like other white athletes, Brady is seen as an individual in a way minority athletes never are.” Leonard echoes these sentiments, saying: “Seeing sports and living sports as an uncontested space is the privilege of whiteness. It’s the privilege of being a man. It’s the privilege of being a heterosexual athlete. That is a luxury that Black athletes and other marginalized and disempowered athletes have never been afforded.”

First of all, there is no such thing as “white America,” and it is racist and think and speak in such terms. Additionally, I disagree with the allegation that minority athletes, female athletes, and gay athletes are never seen as individuals. I also disagree with the claim that it is a privilege and a luxury to be seen as an individual or to have the choice of whether or not to discuss current events. Being able to express one’s views on politics and current events, or alternatively, to opt not to do so, is a right, not a privilege.

Armour closes by criticizing Brady’s “moral cowardice.” She writes that “celebrating what he’s done while turning a blind eye to what he has not is a privilege Brady does not deserve.” Actually, it is Armour who is demonstrating moral cowardice. And having one of the nation’s most well-known and widely-read newspapers as a platform from which to spew her pompous, mean-spirited, racist nonsense is a privilege that she does not deserve.

Thankfully, Fox Radio host Clay Travis had some sensible words to say about this situation. “Do [74.2] million Americans who voted for Donald Trump have to answer for their support?” he asked. “That’s what America is. It’s a democracy. I voted for Donald Trump… Nobody ever has to apologize when they support a Democratic or left-wing politician in the world of sports. Why in the world should Tom Brady have to apologize for supporting the former president of the United States? I think that’s what makes American sports so fantastic. It cuts across our racial, our ethnic, our socioeconomic, our political divisions and brings us all together. And I hope on Sunday we can all sit down, grab a beer, have some nachos, and enjoy one of the greatest games of all time regardless of who the politicians are supported by the players on the field.”

Amen to that.

bookmark_borderUFC President Dana White stands up for free speech

Dana White, the president of the UFC, is an example of how sports leagues ought to handle the issue of free speech on controversial topics.

In a press conference after a victory, fighter Colby Covington called the Black Lives Matter movement “a complete sham.” He continued, “It’s a joke. They’re taking these people that are complete terrorists. They’re taking these people that are criminals. These aren’t people that are hard-working Americans, blue-collar Americans. These are bad people. They’re criminals. They shouldn’t be attacking police. If you’re breaking the law and you’re threatening the cops with weapons, you deserve to get what you get. Law enforcement protects us all. If we don’t have law enforcement, it’d be the wild, wild West.” He also called a fellow fighter who supports BLM a communist, a Marxist, and someone who “hates America” and “stands for criminals.”

Sounds pretty reasonable to me. Covington could perhaps have phrased things a bit more diplomatically, but I agree overall with his sentiments. Of course, given the political environment of 2020, fellow UFC fighters and sponsors promptly erupted in outrage, calling Covington and his comments “flat-out racist” and “disgusting.”

To his credit, White defended athletes’ freedom of speech. “These guys all have their own causes, things, their own beliefs,” he said. “We don’t muzzle anybody here. We let everybody speak their mind. I don’t know what he said that was racist. I don’t know if I heard anything racist that he said.”

More coaches, teams, and leagues should adopt similar attitudes. True diversity and inclusion require tolerance and acceptance of a wide range of political views. With athletes almost unanimously expressing support for the BLM movement, usually with the wholehearted endorsement of their teams and leagues, it is important to consider the rights of those with dissenting views. If athletes can speak out in favor of BLM, fairness requires that they also be free to speak out against BLM if that is how they feel. 

bookmark_borderCyclist suspended for pro-Trump tweets

In the latest example of intolerance practiced in the name of tolerance by today’s politically correct society, cyclist Quinn Simmons was suspended for tweeting his support of Donald Trump. 

According to ESPN/Associated Press, the “controversial” tweets began when Dutch journalist Jose Been tweeted: “My dear American friends, I hope this horrible presidency ends for you. And for us as (former?) allies too. If you follow me and support Trump, you can go. There is zero excuse to follow or vote for the vile, horrible man.”

Simmons, the 2019 junior road race world champion, responded “Bye” with a dark-skinned hand emoji. 

When someone else tweeted, “Apparently a Trumper,” Simmons responded, “That’s right” with an American flag emoji. 

His team, Trek-Segafredo, said in a statement: “Trek-Segafredo is an organization that values inclusivity and supports a more diverse and equitable sport for all athletes. While we support the right to free speech, we will hold people accountable for their words and actions. Regrettably, team rider Quinn Simmons made statements online that we feel are divisive, incendiary, and detrimental to the team, professional cycling, its fans, and the positive future we hope to help create for the sport. He will not be racing for Trek-Segafredo until further notice.”

They added in a separate statement that Simmons “was not suspended because of his political views. He was suspended for engaging in conversation on Twitter in a way that we felt was conduct unbefitting a Trek athlete.”

And the team’s manager said that Simmons “has a bright future as a professional athlete if he can use this opportunity to grow as a person and make a positive contribution for a better future for cycling.”

According to Cycling Weekly, the organization Diversity in Cycling alleged that the use of the dark-skinned emoji was a form of “blackface” and pompously lectured him to “listen and learn.”

“To those who found the color of the emoji racist, I can promise that I did not mean for it to be interpreted that way,” Simmons responded. “I would like to apologize to everyone who found this offensive as I strongly stand against racism in any form. To anyone who disagrees with me politically, that is fine. I won’t hate you for it. I only ask the same.”

In my opinion, this is a perfect example of much ado about nothing. Simmons expressed his support for Trump, something that he has every right to do. When one considers the wide range of opinions, thoughts, insults, and profanities that exist in the vast world of social media, Simmons’s tweets are really pretty innocuous. He did not attack or insult anyone, use profanity, or call anyone names. Interpreting the dark-skinned emoji as racist is a stretch and is certainly not an interpretation that would occur to me upon seeing this tweet. There wasn’t any need for Simmons to apologize, as he didn’t do anything wrong. By suspending him, his team went way overboard and veered into the realm of hypocrisy. Any organization that truly values inclusivity and diversity would embrace people with varied political beliefs. There was nothing incendiary or divisive about Simmons’s tweets, unless by divisive the team meant demonstrating ideological diversity, in which case being divisive is not a bad thing. There is no need for Simmons to “grow as a person” or “listen and learn,” as he has already demonstrated good character and courage by daring to voice unpopular views. It is the practitioners of political correctness run amok who need to listen and learn about what diversity truly means.

bookmark_borderPavel Bure’s refreshing comments on BLM

The recent protests by professional athletes in a variety of sports have been demoralizing to anyone who truly values justice. The decision by athletes and their leagues to cancel games as an expression of support for the Black Lives Matter movement has made me, until this point an avid sports fan, seriously consider boycotting watching sports.

It was refreshing when I happened upon some comments by retired Russian NHL superstar Pavel Bure on the BLM movement. “If we talk about equality, one law should be interpreted equally for everyone, he said, according to a translation by RT. “If something happens to a white person, it’s OK, but if he is black – it’s a big tragedy. All people should be treated equally. I worked in America for more than 20 years playing with guys from different ethnic groups. My best friend was Gino Odjick, an American Indian who introduced me to his ethnic community. But native Indians are the most oppressed nation in North America. Donald Brashear, a black guy, was also my friend and there was no racism. What is happening now is outrageous hysteria, reverse racism. Why should anyone apologize?”

Retired NHL goalie Ilya Bryzgalov also expressed refreshingly reasonable views on this topic. “I don’t see any connection between the NHL games and the Wisconsin shooting, which we know very little about,” he remarked, according to RT. “How can ice hockey and sport be linked to unlawful acts performed by a policeman?… I’m tired of this hype. Talking about the Black Lives Matter movement, I just want to ask, don’t the lives of other nations, like Latin Americans and Asians, matter? It’s highly politicized. Finding a connection between such things is absurd!”

Exactly. The fact that the NHL canceled games as a protest against a police shooting in Wisconsin is absurd. As both gentlemen expressed, everyone should be treated equally, and the BLM movement does the exact opposite of that. It is not appropriate for the NHL or any other sports league to express support for this movement. 

bookmark_border“No justice, no Derby”

The Black Lives Matter movement yesterday chose the Kentucky Derby as its latest occasion for protests. Activists gathered in a park near Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, and marched towards the racetrack chanting “No justice, no Derby!” The fact that the race was even run was described as insensitive, callous, and tone-deaf.

These criticisms are, in my opinion, ridiculous. There are legitimate concerns about police brutality, and people are understandably demanding justice in the police-involved shooting of Breonna Taylor, who lived in Louisville. But why is any of this a reason to cancel the Kentucky Derby? Police officers who abuse their authority deserve to be punished, as do all those who perpetrate racism in our society. But to cancel the Derby would not accomplish this. It would punish the hardworking trainers, jockeys, grooms, and owners who have dedicated their lives to caring for horses, as well as the racing fans, and most importantly, the horses themselves who have been training for this moment all year long.

There are all sorts of injustices and wrongs in our society. Racism against black people exists in some places, and racism against white people exists as well. Anti-Semitism exists, as does prejudice against gay, transgender, and asexual people. Income inequality, social pressure, animal cruelty, and climate change are all serious issues. As a person on the autism spectrum, I face discrimination and other challenges on a daily basis. But no one who is affected by any of these other issues has demanded that major sporting events be canceled. Yes, racism and police brutality deserve to be condemned and protested against. But so do all forms of injustice. All of the injustices that I listed are equally widespread and equally problematic as what the Black Lives Matter movement is protesting against, if not more so. So why do Black Lives Matter protesters believe that their issue should be treated preferentially to all others? To demand that the Kentucky Derby be canceled as a response to the injustices that the BLM movement cares about is unfair to everyone affected by other injustices, as well as to everyone who loves horse racing.

The fact that something unjust happened does not mean that events that have absolutely nothing to do with the injustice should be canceled or that people who have nothing to do with the injustice should be punished. The Kentucky Derby is not a frivolous social occasion. It is more than an excuse to wear fancy hats and drink mint juleps. It is a prestigious sporting event for equine athletes, which horsemen and horsewomen build their entire year around. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the race was rescheduled from the first Saturday in May to the first Saturday in September, and was held without fans. These measures are more than sufficient; there is no reason to demand that the race be canceled entirely. Supporters of BLM should focus their criticism and protests upon people who are racist and police who commit acts of brutality; not innocent horses and the people who work with them. To demand that the world of horse racing stop in its tracks for the BLM movement, after already being disrupted around the country by the pandemic, is truly tone-deaf.

P.S. Although I was rooting for Tiz the Law, congratulations to Authentic and all of his humans!

bookmark_borderAthletes’ boycott is inconsistent and illogical

The world is finally emerging from a government-ordered lockdown during which countries, states, and cities forbade their citizens from leaving their homes for anything other than necessities. A more severe, wide-reaching violation of people’s rights can hardly be imagined. 

Yet because of an incident in Kenosha, Wisconsin in which Jacob Blake was shot by police officers, the NBA, NHL, and MLB have decided to cancel their games as a form of protest. I do not mean to minimize the injustice of what happened to Jacob Blake. Obviously, being shot and paralyzed as a result is absolutely horrible, and he did not deserve for this to happen. But I disagree with the claims by the Black Lives Matter movement that incidents like this are symptomatic of an overarching trend of systemic racism. Like the equally unjust and tragic killing of George Floyd, this was an isolated incident. It is being investigated, and if any of the officers involved are found to have acted wrongly, they will be punished. The shooting of Jacob Blake is being handled the way it should be. 

So why did so many athletes boycott their games in response to this but not in response to issues that are actually important? 

As a result of demands by its athletes, the NBA agreed to postpone all of yesterday’s and today’s playoff games. The NHL called off today’s playoff games, and MLB postponed three games yesterday and seven games today after some players decided to sit out and their teammates and managers backed them. 

Contrast this with the complete lack of reaction when the majority of states in the U.S. enacted stay-at-home orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, banning all people within those states from traveling, going to parks, doing outdoor activities, getting together with other people, and operating businesses. Did any professional athlete express any opposition whatsoever to these tyrannical policies that violate every person’s rights on a massive scale? If so, the media has done a good job of keeping it secret. 

As another example of an issue that merits widespread protests, take the barbaric destruction of buildings, businesses, and worst of all, statues that has been perpetrated by protesters affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement across the country. Why have no professional athletes taken a stand against these violations of people’s rights? Why has no one pledged to boycott games until the vandalized statues are restored and protected?

It’s not only recent injustices that merit protests. Why have no athletes protested against technology companies’ constant tracking of everyone’s internet activities? This practice violates every person’s privacy rights. Why did no athletes protest the deployment of full-body scanners at airports in 2010, also violating every traveler’s privacy rights? Why did no athletes protest when the federal government passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, requiring all people to purchase health insurance? This law violates every person’s right to decide what to do with his or her own money. And why did no one protest the passage of the Durham-Humphrey Amendment in 1951, requiring each person to get a doctor’s permission before being allowed to purchase medications? This law violates every person’s right to make his or her own medical decisions. I could continue listing examples until this blog post became as long as a novel, but I think you get the point.

All of these issues are more important, and more deserving of protests, than an isolated incident of police brutality. The decision by so many basketball, hockey, and baseball players to boycott games over one instance of injustice while completely ignoring others is illogical, inconsistent, unjust, and unfair. Their gesture is meaningful to Jacob Blake and those who care about him, but it is a slap in the face to all those people who are negatively affected by other types of injustice.