HELEN SPRING, NEW JERSEY — Legal documents filed in federal court this morning seek to wrest control of NFL quarter back Colin Kaepernick’s First Amendment rights. Henry Smalls, a man who calls himself a “Constitution loving patriot” and “champion of true American freedom,” told reporters he filed the request to have control over Kaepernick’s right to freedom of expression and thought when he found out the football star would not be standing up for the National Anthem this season in protest of the treatment of African-Americans in the United States.
“The First Amendment is very clear,” Smalls told reporters, “Mr. Kaepernick is technically allowed to protest in such a way. But I’m sorry, I just don’t like how he’s choosing to express himself, and therefore, I think he’s wrong and needs to be stopped.”
Smalls admits, though, that he can’t just ask for the federal government to strip Kaepernick of his First Amendment rights. So he says that’s why he wants to have “a sort of power of attorney over them.” That way, Smalls says, he can be rest assured that the star athlete will only use his First Amendment privilege in ways that Smalls finds acceptable.
“Because the whole point of protest and freedom of speech is to say and do things in ways that people find acceptable and tolerable,” Smalls said, “not to express yourself in any way you see fit as long as you’re not inciting revolt or other forms of violence.”
In the end, Smalls says his suit is about a very simple concept — his own sensitivities and feelings being more important than Kaepernick’s.
“I’m just really upset he didn’t express himself the way I wanted him to,” Smalls said, “and I don’t think that’s right. Don’t I have a right to only be surrounded by people who say and think things exactly as I want them to be said and thought? Do I not have a right as a white male to expect to have everyone’s actions and words match what I need them to in order to not feel threatened. I’m not saying I need a safe space…other than Fox News…that’s not what I’m saying.”
It comes down to what “being American is all about” Smalls insists.
“If you’re going to live in America, you have the freedom of thought and expression,” Smalls said, “except when it comes to criticizing this country. That can only be done by people who know that systemic racism isn’t a thing, but white genocide is. People who understand that police killing suspects of any skin color isn’t wrong, but a half-percent tax hike to get schools better training and resources is. The true patriots who understand freedom of speech doesn’t mean you get to criticize the government unless it’s progressive policies you’re criticizing, they are the ones who can make bold statements about how we need to Make America Great Again.”
Mr. Smalls has yet to hear back from any court clerk regarding his suit. Mr. Kaepernick, nor any representative for him, could be reached for comment.
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