Very puzzling. The Washington “Commanders” (previously the Redskins) are punishing an assistant coach because he dared to express an opinion on social media that his boss and employers don’t agree with, since it is not sufficiently in line with the George Floyd Freakout, The Great Stupid, and the Democratic Party’s show trial strategy to somehow stave off disaster for Joe and Company in the November mid-terms. In this, the NFL franchise is emulating it’s city’s most prominent law school, Georgetown Law Center, which only recently finished driving away a non-conforming law professor who dared to opine that limiting the pool of potential Supreme Court Justices by race and gender was not the wise way to find the best judge available.
To paraphrase Dana above, “What’s going on here?”
Nothing good, that’s for sure. Just another unethical effort by a business entity to strongarm employees into supporting one particular party and ideology, or at least to intimidate them sufficiently that they stifle their dissenting views. There is literally no possible justification for the Redsk…I mean “Commanders” actions.
Jack Del Rio, the defensive coordinator of D.C.s football team, tweeted:
“Would love to understand ‘the whole story’ about why the summer of riots, looting, burning and the destruction of personal property is never discussed but this is??? #CommonSense. …Let’s have a discussion. Why are we not looking into those things — if we’re going to talk about it — why are we not looking into those things? I can look at images on the TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down, no problem. And then we have a dust-up at the Capitol, nothing burned down, and we’re going to make that a major deal.”
For this, Del Rio was fined by the team $100,000. Why? I assumed that the justification was some kind of contract provision or team policy, but—what was that clever and memorable name a again? Oh, right–the Commanders issued a statement attributed to head coach Ron Rivera:
That’s pretty unequivocal: the organization, the team and its coach are demanding that Del Rio and other employees hold its approved political views, and will punish anyone who dares to question the screamingly obvious hypocrisy and public manipulation engaged in by House Democrats as they fulminate against civic unrest by conservatives while pretending far more destructive rioting by their political bedfellows was benign.
“Who sought to topple our government”…how can people continue to say something so self-evidently stupid without being called out on it? Like the Black Lives Matter riots, like the Rodney King riots, like the Ferguson riots, like the Freddy Gray Baltimore riots, like the the Martin Luther King assassination riots, like virtually ALL riots, the January 6 riot at the Capitol was a mass tantrum with no coherent objective whatsoever other than to communicate anger. These people were morons, no doubt about it, but even morons know that they can’t overthrow the United States with sticks, bear spray, and funny hats. The Commanders’ statement doesn’t pass a giggle test. It also doesn’t pass an honesty test: “Lives were lost…” Yes, a protester was shot by a cop whose actions would have set off another one of those BLM riots if he hadn’t been black and the unarmed woman he killed had been.
To be fair, most Washingtonians reading that statement also think that Capitol police died in the riot, because President Biden keeps saying so.
The aspect of the statement that can’t be laughed off is a DC institution so openly espousing the principles of totalitarianism, and showing such contempt for the rights of free speech, political dissent, and personal liberty.
Before you assume that Del Rio followed the current fashion and grovelled to keep his job, don’t. Here is his apology:
“I made comments earlier today in referencing the attack that took place on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. Referencing that situation as a dust-up was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry. I stand by my comments condemning violence in communities across the country. I say that while also expressing my support as an American citizen for peaceful protest in our country.”
That’s excellent. He only apologizes for the single aspect of his tweets that was legitimately objectionable: the Capitol riot was no “dust-up.” However, the coach refused to back down. I sure hop he refuses to pay that fine.
I just contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE’s new name communicating its expanded mission beyond educational suppression of speech). I urged them to take on the Commanders.
This kind of compelled conformity is poison, and the line in the metaphorical sand must be drawn now.
Pointer: More Bill