Everyday on social media, I’m reminded of just how misunderstood the first amendment is. It appears that too many Americans seem to apply it only when it serves them and their own opinions. Should someone they disagree with have an opposing opinion then suddenly the first amendment goes out the window. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ramon Foster exercised his first amendment right of free expression today and many people, including Steelers’ fans didn’t care for it.
Earlier in the day on Tuesday, Ramon Foster tweeted the following:
— Ramon Foster (@RamonFoster) September 20, 2016
The man he is referencing was shot and killed by a Tulsa, Oklahoma police officer. In the chopper hovering above, someone made the comment about Mr. Crutcher being a “big bad dude.” I saw the video and I don’t know everything that happened and I’m not going go into it because I can’t change anything that happened.
Sadly, Foster’s right to free expression was met by people who didn’t care for it. Much as it is his right to tweet as he pleased, it is their right to disagree with him. The problem is the intent and total lack of education and many of these individuals had.
This was one of the responses to his tweet:
— BLACKNGOLDSTRONG (@CatronClint) September 20, 2016
According to this individual, Ramon Foster is not allowed to exercise his first amendment right of free expression. Because he plays in the NFL, this individual believes Foster to be violating his rights to avoid politics. So apparently, athletes are not allowed to have opinions nor are they allowed to comment on anything other than football.
My first question to this person is where is the “racism” he mentions? Foster used a direct quote from the scene and echoed what millions of other black men were thinking. How is this racism?
Furthermore, does the fact this man has watched the Steelers for 31 years mean that he’s entitled to things that people who’ve only watched them for say, 15 years are not? I don’t know about you but that is some type of entitlement huh!?
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest this person isn’t pleased with Colin Kaepernick either. Well… Too bad. I don’t like what Kaepernick and several others are doing either but guess what? His first amendment, the same one this man apparently has ownership of, allows him to express himself in that manner.
Again, here is part of the problem. People want to scream “first amendment!” when it protects their rights but when others use it in a manner they don’t like? “You can’t do that!!” comes from everywhere.
We expect our athletes today to just ‘shut up and play’ because they are our modern day gladiators whose sole job it is to entertain. Why do we seem to forget though that they are actually people too who see and hear the same things in society that we do?
Ramon Foster has every right to say as he chooses whether I or any other person says otherwise and I will continue to support him in that as I would anyone. I’m embarrassed by a lot of what I saw today aimed at Foster but I’m not surprised.
People will express themselves in any way possible when it comes from behind a keyboard and protects their rights.