A former NBA All-Star by the name of Tim Hardaway really found himself eating his shoes as he announced during a radio interview that he hates gay people. He went on to describe that they make him uncomfortable and that he doesn’t think that their behavior is acceptable. As stupid and paranoid as he sounded in his interview, I support his right to express his point of view.
The NBA Commissioner, David Stern, has removed Hardaway from all public appearances on behalf of the NBA because of his remarks. I find that this action is over the top on the part of the commissioner; however, I also support his right and the NBA’s right to make the decision.
Am I confusing you yet? I hope not, but never-the-less, the issue isn’t simple. There is not a single person that wishes to be censored. We have a right to free speech. Our constitution guarantees that right. What the constitution does not guarantee, is a right to be heard. I can not come into your home and force you to read my article, nor can Jane Doe stand on a street corner and give a speech, hold people captive and force them to listen to her. No, we do not have a right to an audience.
Some may say that the NBA is violating Hardaway’s right to free speech but are they? I think not. Remember, the constitution is designed to limit government, not the private sector. The NBA is not the government. The wording in the constitution is specific “Congress shall make no law……” That means that the government may not abridge free speech; however, as unfortunate as it is, the NBA, Clear Channel, Disney or Haliburton, Exxon and Six Flags certainly can.
I’m sure that you all remember the Dixie Chicks debacle back in 2003. They were performing in
London and Natalie Maines said, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from .” There was a huge backlash from the American public and sponsors forced radio stations all over the Texas to pull their music from the air. US
Just like with the Hardaway comment, I disagree with
What I find to be the most comical about both the Hardaway situation and the
Where is the outrage in the media over the subject? Where are the
(As a civil libertarian, I have to express that I happen to agree with the Democrats on the gay rights issue. I believe that people should live and let live. If two men or two women wish to be ‘married’, then so be it. Let them be happy.)
Back to the subject at hand, when should we speak out regarding our opinions or our beliefs? Should anyone ever not be allowed to express themselves? Is this really a slippery slope that we want to travel down? These are all questions that only each individual can decide for themselves.
There is one thing that every free society needs to understand; with freedom comes responsibility. With every freedom of action, speech or thought there are consequences. If you are willing to take responsibility for your actions or your words, by all means, speak out and/or act. Just remember, we all have a right to do and say as we please as long as we are not violating the rights of another.
In closing, I would like to again say that we all have the right to speak freely, but we do not have a right to be heard. No one has a right to an audience, but to deny anyone the right to express their opinions is simply inhumane.
Until next time..........