Remember the First Amendment? Well, some people don’t want free speech to apply to NFL players, especially Rep. Milo Smith, a Republican from Indiana. He is proposing new legislation that will require the Indianapolis Colts to refund fans if a player kneels during a game. Smith said, “To me when they take a knee during the national anthem, it’s not respecting the national anthem or our country. Our government isn’t perfect, but it’s still the best country in the world and I think we need to be respectful of it.” If America is still the best country in the world then why would this Republican disrespect the constitution by attempting to take away the First Amendment rights of NFL players?
As we all know, the kneeling began as a peaceful protest from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was speaking out against police brutality and racial injustice. Unfortunately, Donald Trump made the kneeling into a volatile conversation about patriotism and our military. Rep. Milo Smith should be more focused on what Colin and so many others are protesting — like Aaron Bailey, an unarmed 45-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by Indiana police. Smith is more outraged by kneeling but not outraged about unarmed people killed by police in his state. That said, Rep. Milo Smith is not know for compassion. In 2014, he advocated for a bill to ban same-sex marriage, even though his son is gay.
Let’s hope Milos’ bill never touches a football field.