Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Non-issue Takes Center Field

Well, OK, First Base

The following link will take you to some hot news about a sports figure and his protest against the USA in Iraq. If you haven't read this, then good. Don't bother. It's a non-issue. But, if you feel you must, I'll wait a bit.
Taking a stand: Delgado does not stand for `God Bless America'

God Bless America is not the National Anthem. As far as I have experienced in my life, no one is expected to leap erect when it plays.

The seventh inning stretch traditionally was a time when everyone stood up and stretched while singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." In New York, after 9/11 they swapped songs, understandable and patriotic in my mind. But people were already standing to stretch anyway.

Delgado plays for the Toronto Blue Jays. They're from Canada. Although, that is also America. Hmmm. Well, anyway...

I haven't checked this assumption, but I don't believe Delgado is a citizen or even a resident of the USA (not that it matters regardless.)

He simply chooses not to stand, a very understated form of protest, well considered and even respectful. He didn't go and advertise this. Someone seeking a story in NY sought him out. Otherwise, we wouldn't know. But he is abiding by something that means something to him, while acknowledging that others disagree with him. Very mature.

By the way, he stands during the National Anthem. Not that that matters, as many ball players I see are groping their crotches and spitting during the National Anthem.

I sincerely hope he doesn't get a bunch of flack over this, and if he does, I hope he continues his protest. It is important that he is doing this, and that it be tolerated. That is a sign of health for our country.

This mostly caught my mind's eye because of some of the silliness being said about free speech. Whoopi Goldberg is ranting about her right to free speech being abrogated by the Bush Administration. It astonishes me what people will say, and feel they can say, without feeling any need to support it.

First of all, the thing called freedom of speech is specifically referring to the right of people to speak out without the Government taking hostile action against them. It does not mean that you are protected against employers deciding they want another spokesperson. To those of you that may want to salivate over some conspiracy theory where SlimFast is owned by Halliburton, I can only say, if Whoopi's rights are being violated, she has legal recourse. So, sue or shut up.

She won't do either of course, but she will be tuned out quickly. It's like that catchy tune that you really wanted to hear all the time that makes you jab frantically at the tuner button every time you hear it now. It gets old fast.

That makes me think, for the first time in months, about The Dixie Chicks. Haven't heard from them lately. You'd think if that girl had any conviction in what she was saying, she'd still be saying it. But, no, as soon as it interfered with the very capitalistic endeavor of making scads of money, she shut up.

Oddly, I want Whoopi to shut up, I'm glad the Dixie Chick shut up, but I don't want Delgado to stand up.

Go figure. Ψ

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