Freedom of Association is a Beautiful Thing

by

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you’ve no doubt heard that the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl on Sunday.  What you may not have seen yet, however, are the various tweets and statement by some members of the Patriots stating their plans to avoid the White House during the team’s Super Bowl victory visit.  As of this post, the following players have conveyed, in some way or another, that they won’t be joining the festivities:

  • Martellus Bennett
  • Devin McCourty
  • Dont’a Hightower
  • Chris Long

By now there may be more, but I’m not listing these players’ names here to chastise or express any sort of animosity towards them whatsoever.  Quite the opposite, in fact — I want to congratulate them.  I want everyone to look at these individuals and praise them for exercising a wonderful, beautiful freedom that we posses in this country: the freedom of association.  And it’s amazing what a difference two years can make — when Tom Brady decided to skip his Obama White House visit in 2015, here came the “r” word from ESPN’s beloved Stephen A. Smith:

Now I highly doubt that you’re going to hear any claims from the media of “reverse racism” on the parts of these Patriot players towards Trump…and frankly, I’d call those claims just as absurd as Stephen A. Smith’s.  But my point isn’t about sports figures, Presidents, or racism.  It’s about our freedoms as American to associate with whatever groups we want, whenever we want.  It’s the same right that extends to businesses, as companies are simply made up of people that operate under these freedoms.  In November 2016, Stephanie Slade of Reason Magazine wrote an article entitled “Fashion Designers Are Boycotting Melania Trump. Shouldn’t Bakers and Florists Have the Same Right?”  In regards to both Bruce Springsteen cancelling a concert and one of Michelle Obama’s fashion designers refusing to donate clothes to Melania Trump, Slade wrote the following:

“Both are examples of associational freedom—the right to make decisions for yourself about how and with whom you spend your time and energy. This includes the right not to take on a client or project that elevates, in your view, a value you disagree with.

The problem is not that Theallet was willing to dress Michelle Obama and isn’t willing to dress Melania Trump (which is, like it or not, a form of discrimination). The problem is just how many people don’t seem to think that same freedom should be extended to bakery owners, photographers, and other wedding vendors who object to same-sex marriage on religious grounds.”

There it is, boys and girls, in all of it’s brilliant glory — the hypocritical foundation that has supported the Left for decades.  Tom Brady doesn’t want to go to the White House and a baker doesn’t want to bake a cake for a gay couple? “Racists!  Bigots!”  Someone doesn’t want to design a dress for the new first lady or visit Trump in the White House for their Super Bowl victory?  “You’re so strong — we support you!”

How these things different?

I’ll give you a hint: they aren’t.

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