Restore free speech in the NFL
To the National Football League:
We, the undersigned, hereby petition the National Football League to end, effective immediately, its persecution of its personnel, in the form of its policy of severely punishing, and, in effect, extorting apologies from players, coaches, or staff who - without disrespect or vulgar or threatening language - express (including in private conversations) opinions, on moral issues, that may diverge from those endorsed by the league or any of its teams.
This policy constitutes a brazen violation of the First Amendment, and has manifested itself recently on the issue of homosexuality. It has resulted in fines, suspensions, the imposition of the psychological torture entailed in "sensitivity training", and combinations of these penalties. It has had a devastating effect on freedoms of speech and religion for both the individuals punished and others around the league who might speak out but fear similar repercussions.
Voicing a point of view critical of homosexual behavior, or of "gay marriage" (a cause that has lost in the vast majority of state voter initiatives on the subject throughout the nation) is not analogous to racial discrimination. The equating of the two is insulting to those who have been subject to the latter. Rather, the former typically is a response to an offense to one's religious convictions or natural sensibilities, and/or concerns about the potential for corruption of youth; it is not, in general, bigotry.
We resolve that, unless and until this policy is reversed - with free speech and freedom of religion restored to NFL personnel - we will patronize neither the league, its products, nor its sponsors.
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