Here’s your daily reminder that freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences.
Kent State wrestler Sam Wheeler has been suspended indefinitely for making several anti-gay statements on Twitter. Like clockwork, this is bringing out the armchair constitutional lawyers who claim that this is an all-out assault on free speech. Duck Dynasty. #FreePhil.
“I though we had free speech would they supend a gay person if they made anti christian or post about straght people,” says one commenter on FOX Sports Ohio’s Facebook page.
“What ever happened to freedom of speech! Isn’t this American! Why are we being forced to accept things we may not agree with! Who cares what you do behind closed doors, keep your sex life to yourself!” says another commenter.
Ok, let’s take a look at what Sam Wheeler actually said. Referencing Missouri’s Michael Sam, who just announced that he is gay ahead of the NFL draft, Wheeler lamented that he can’t even watch SportsCenter without hearing about “that fag from mizzou.” He later tweeted at two other users, calling them “queers.”
“O geez I got all these fag boys mad at me now,” he said.
All of the tweets (as well as his entire account) has since been deleted. But this is the internet, so here they are (courtesy outragedc.com):
Wheeler has been suspended indefinitely for his tweets.
“We are aware of the insensitive tweets by one of our student athletes. On behalf of Kent State University, we consider these comments to be ignorant and not indicative of the beliefs held by our university community as a whole. This is an educational opportunity for all of our student-athletes,” said Kent State Athletic Director Joel Nielsen.
“As an alum of Kent State University and as Sam’s head coach, I was surprised and offended by what I read on Twitter. I have spoken to Sam personally, and while he is remorseful, he will be suspended indefinitely while we determine the best course of action moving forward,” said his coach, Jim Andrassy.
No free speech at Kent State. http://t.co/klrsCnP2gJ
— EJ Passeos (@EJPasseos) February 11, 2014
Can anyone that knows more about 1st amendment explain why the sam wheeler suspension by kent state is OK?
— franco (@franco99999) February 11, 2014
Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. Maybe it’s like Beetlejuice – we all say it three times and it just pops into every brain on the internet.
Let’s remember what we’re all screaming about, shall we?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
So–until Congress decides to act on Sam Wheeler’s shitty, hateful sentiments, or we find Sam Wheeler rotting away in jail for calling someone a queer on Twitter, let’s lighten up on all the free speech talk, ok?
This is America. He’ll be ok. I’m sure he’ll have a reality show on A&E before year’s end.
Image via Kent State Athletics, Facebook