I’m not a big fan of Hank Williams Jr., so when ESPN fired him from Monday Night Football after comments he made about President Barack Obama, I really didn’t care. But I do have a thought or two about the freedom of speech debate that the incident has caused.

During an appearance on Fox and Friends, Williams, in referring to a golf game between the President and Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican Congressman from Ohio,  said "That would be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu.” Williams went on to say that Obama and Vice President Biden are “the enemy.”

According to many reports, the country singer compared President Obama to Adolph Hitler. No, he didn’t.  He made an analogy. If Williams was a Democrat, I wouldn’t be surprised right now if the far right wingers would be yelling that he compared Boehner to the Nazi leader.

I once said that the Pope making declarations about birth control would be like me giving weight loss advice. That doesn’t mean I think I’m the head of the Catholic church.

As for calling Obama and Biden the enemy, anyone who has never heard the term “political enemy” hasn’t read a newspaper.

But, be that as it may, the furor over free speech that William’s comments started, and that ESPN’s decision to fire him exacerbated, is a bit ridiculous, in my opinion. Yes, the man had the right to say whatever he wanted, and he exercised that right.  Now he says that ESPN violated his First Amendment right to free speech by firing him.

No, they didn’t. The network exercised their right to replace him. That’s entirely legal. The First Amendment guarantees each of us the right of free speech. However, it doesn’t guarantee us the right to work for any company. The First Amendment doesn’t protect any of us at work.

If you agree with Hank Williams Jr. and think ESPN did him wrong, you have a right, too. You can flip to another network and boycott Monday Night Football.

Isn’t it great to live in a country where we have such freedoms?

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11 Comments on Freedom Of Speech

  1. Mike T. says:

    A rich redneck putting down a socialist. What’s the news there? They can all burn in hell for all I care.

  2. T & R Martin says:

    It looks like a wash to me. Williams had his right to free speech & ESPN had a right to fire him—end of story. But Nick you’ve got to learn to say “OH NO HE DI-ENT” in true New York fashion, that’s how to get a point across!

  3. Dave K says:

    We Love Ya Bad Nick. As for Mr. Williams>> That is why they provide “Mute” buttons on TV remotes. I have been using mine when he comes on for years!

  4. Bill Daines says:

    I have always said, when you say something which may be controversal, you may have to pay the price.
    Some comments may be taken two ways. However when you work for someone other than yourself, tread lightly.
    I do like the “mute” comment from Dave K.
    I remember the statement my dad made several times when I was younger, “don’t bite the hand that feeds you”.
    Freedom of speech in my opinion does not apply in all situations.
    Again Nick, another good one. Bill

  5. Dave B. says:

    I think people have gotten the “rights” thing all mixed up for years. They think they have the right to do most anything with no penalty for their actions. They do have the right to say or do it but there will be answers to their actions as others have the right to respond. It’s like the woman smoker who blew smoke in my wife’s face. When my wife gave her a dirty look and coughed, she said “Well, smokers have rights too, ya know.” My wife turned on her pocket fan and blew the smoke back at her. The smoker got up and left in a huff. Heck, she was causing the smoke and my wife had the right to blow it back on her!

  6. Jerry Criswell says:

    Most people have a huge misunderstanding of the first amendment right to freedom of speech. All it is intended to do is allow you to speak out against the government without being arrested. It does NOT require you to listen to anything anybody says nor does it require anyone to provide you with a venue to say whatever.

    JC

  7. Ray Foster says:

    I won’t watch ESPN any more if they want to stifle free speech. Don’t care for Williams but they did him wrong.

  8. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy BN,
    The First Amendment USED to say YOU HAD THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH
    for everyone.. NO MORE!! Now it’s only for Marxists to USE FOR THEIR SPEECHES!!!

    Bad Nick has it right; open your mouth and someone will put a foot in it.. Bocephus has been ‘a privileged character’ all of his life and has shown it, BUT HE IS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN AND EXPOUSED HIS BELIEFS.. GOT FIRED TOO, ALSO!! THAT IDIOT WHO BURNED THE KORAN down in Florida AND GOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KILLED DIDN’T GET FIRED!!! The same RIGHT HW Jr used was the same one the IDIOT used!!!

  9. Paul Stough says:

    @butterbean carpenter-If what you said was true, you would be in jail.

  10. Dennis M says:

    butterbean carpenter, so the nutjob in FL is a Marxist?

    You and Ray just get things so confused. If a person is a so called “public spokesman” for a private enterprise they better be careful what they say in a public forum. If it embarrasses their employer they will be out in no time. “Free speech” has nothing to do with this issue.

  11. Bill says:

    Nick,

    ESPN should give it a rest. I’ll admit the analogy is a tab extreme but it’s just that – an analogy. ESPN and the left need to get over it.

    JMO,

    Bill

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