Miami Dolphins player Don Jones has been fined by his team, and committed to sensitivity training, for his rather innocuous tweets after openly homosexual football player Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams. He has also apologized to Sam and the Dolphins, and the Miami fans. What to think, what to think.
In the defiant world which is American football, well known for insults and trash talk, the very idea of sensitivity training simply begs for comedy. Yet this is no laughing matter. There are too many ramifications for the larger society involved, not the least of which involve First Amendment free speech and freedom of religion rights.
Consider there's the fascinating mix of societal reaction towards personal beliefs. Michael Sam is praised for merely being homosexual; indeed, he's truly lauded for being ostensibly nothing more than how he was born. Any contrary reaction to that brings on the derision and sensitivity counselors. Yet when Tim Tebow is openly Christian and his football peers react ill towards it, nothing. Donald Stirling isn't even offered sensitivity training; he's just ostracized. This from the snake oil salesmen who peddle tolerance.
Sterling's comments were reprehensible, of course, and there's no issue with public and private censure there. Interestingly enough, however, that's actually a conservative position. We say and have said that certain attitudes merit censure. Tebow and his Christian fellows likewise preach it. The left are the ones who preach pretty much open tolerance yet demonstrate by action that they are more draconian than the right. Just gore their ox, in this case the ox of homosexual rights, and we see that their pleas for tolerance ring quite hollow.
They weren't particularly supportive of Tebow. No NFLer was sentenced to sensitivity training for reactions to him. Yet a guy who's presumably against gay rights, an historically valid and at least arguably more moral more position to hold, is sent to the sensitivity police. Who ought we send next? The Catholics? The Evangelicals? The Muslims? Oh, that would be quite interesting, wouldn't it?
To be sure, the actions against Don Jones were privately taken. Yet why not take them? And why not send those others to camp as well? We're society, we're not the government. We can't be oppressive. And therein lies the problem which our liberal and, yes, it's true, our libertarian (notice how little their reaction to Jones has been) friends will not see. Yet it is their attitudes which are producing modern America. The fact is society can be even more oppressive than government precisely because it is governed by nothing but its passions, and there are few real checks on those. Never mind that society is ostensibly (the word of day, because it fits) private. It still can and does violate rights. Indeed, it can violate them quite more immediately and comprehensively than a government can.
You don't think so? Then consider again the swift and sure reaction to Don Jones. And consider that all the NSA does, relatively speaking, is listen to your phone conversations with your mother.