How very "Cornball Brother" of him:
In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) April 30, 2013
God help me, but this guy may convert me into a 'Skins fan yet. RGIII's tweet is relevant and interesting for several reasons. First, his simple and powerful affront against society's PC bullies prompted...a nasty spate of PC bullying. A tiny sampling, courtesy of Twitchy:
Oh shut up. RT @rgiii In a land of freedom, we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness.— Aaron Nagler (@Aaron_Nagler) April 30, 2013
You privileged jackass. RT @rgiii: In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness— Chemmy (@felixpotvin) April 30, 2013
...and my personal favorite, via a Media Matters goon:
dont do this. RT @rgiii In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness— Oliver Willis (@owillis) April 30, 2013
Don't do this, Griffin. Don't you go and say things I don't like, and that may be offensive to some people. Ace's take is pitch-perfect:
RGIII: We live in a PC regime where people aren't allowed to speak their minds The Left: That's a lie, take it back, or we'll boycott— DepressiveBlogger69 (@AceofSpadesHQ) April 30, 2013
The other intruiging element of this tempest is what prompted Griffin's statement. Was it this inane errand by Washington DC's nattering city council? (National Reviewseems to think so). Or was it Jason Collins-mania, wherein an NBA center has received massive media attention and adulation for coming out as gay? During an on-air conversation about the matter, ESPN NBA analyst Chris Broussard espoused a fairly orthodox Christian worldview on homosexuality, drawing gales of criticism from other media personalities:
“I’m a Christian. I don’t agree with homosexuality. I think it’s a sin, as I think all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is. [ESPN's] L.Z. [Granderson] knows that. He and I have played on basketball teams together for several years. We’ve gone out, had lunch together, we’ve had good conversations, good laughs together. He knows where I stand and I know where he stands. I don’t criticize him, he doesn’t criticize me, and call me a bigot, call me ignorant, call me intolerant. In talking to some people around the league, there’s a lot Christians in the NBA and just because they disagree with that lifestyle, they don’t want to be called bigoted and intolerant and things like that. That’s what LZ was getting at.
Just like I may tolerate someone whose lifestyle I disagree with, he can tolerate my beliefs. He disagrees with my beliefs and my lifestyle but true tolerance and acceptance is being able to handle that as mature adults and not criticize each other and call each other names… Personally, I don’t believe that you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle or an openly premarital sex between heterosexuals, if you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that’s a sin. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I do not think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian."
One can agree or disagree with that statement of beliefs, but it's a real strain to characterize Broussard's words as mean-spirited or bigoted. Nevertheless, ESPN was pressured into issuing a quasi-apology for the exchange, calling it a "distraction." A distraction from what, exactly? The conversation was specifically about a basketball player who chose to publicize his sexuality. In response, one commentator offered his critical, but respectful, views on the general subject amtter. That's not a distraction, it's a viewpoint on the relevant topic. Still, ESPN wanted to make sure that everyone understood that they are "fully committed to diversity." Except, perhaps, moral and intellectual diversity. In fairness, the network did not repudiate Broussard's comment -- which, they allowed, was part of a "respectful discussion." CBS Sportscaster Tim Brando also ignited a firestorm by daring to suggest that Collins isn't a "hero" for revealing his sexual orientation:
I called Jason and his brothers games in the NCAA's and was happy for him upon being drafted. He is good guy. Good for him. Hero? No sorry.— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) April 29, 2013
.@amandabusick bravery doesen't automatically translate to heroism.I'm sorry there's a difference.My Godpeople wake up!Enough it's a choice— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) April 29, 2013
I agree that what Collins did was brave. To step up and make that announcement in the macho world of pro sports takes some courage. And I disagree with those who wave the episode off as a total non-story. Being the first active (ie, non-retired) American athlete from a "big four" sport to come out of the closet isn't nothing. But I also agree with Brando's statement that "hero" gets tossed around far too liberally, and that Collins' decision simply doesn't rise to that level. Incidentally, Brando later clarified that his "it's a choice" codicil dealt with the choice to go public, and had no bearing on the debate over whether homosexuality is a choice. In light of the Broussard/Brando pile-on, Griffin may have been making a statement in favor of free speech and expression. If that's what he was getting at, endorsed.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography