The First Amendment, basically, gives us the freedom of speech.
We can whatever we want, whenever we want. But, there can be consequences with those words.
Former Dallas Stars player Sean Avery has found that out. He is without a job. Although he will eventually find another job with an NHL team, he has played his last game in a Dallas uniform because of what he said about his former girlfriend and other players in the league.
We are all responsible for what goes in and comes out of our mouths.
Avery spewed stuff that was deemed detrimental to the league and now he is looking for work. He is not looking for work like many Americans, mind you, because he is still being paid by the Stars his four-year, $15.5 million deal.
Mind you, he spewed stuff without being asked a question specific to his response. Some may call it a premeditated speech used solely to get back at an ex-girlfriend (what is he, 15?)
So, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman did what he had to do and suspended him. The Stars followed with what they had to do and cut ties.
I also don't want to hear it from the Politically Correct Police.
If a high school player says something amazingly stupid to a player or coach and it warrants discipline, so be it.
People can say what they want, they just have to be willing to pay the price.
You don't want to pay the price, just keep it zipped.
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This is no different that junior high basketball parent who is already whining about his precious kid not getting enough playing time, never mind the fact no more than four games, at most, have been played.
Parents have the freedom to complain about anything and everything and they do, much to the chagrin of the administration, coaches and, believe it or not, the kids.
Parents want to use the PC World to say their child must have the same amount of playing time as anyone else on the team. Somebody has to be the 12th kid on a 12-player team.
And, if that is your kid, so what?
If you are whining already about the lack of playing time, I can imagine how much of a stink you would have professed if your kid was cut.
And, my guess, is the coach right now would have wished your kid was cut.
But, maybe the coach wanted your child on the team because the coach felt it would be good to be a part of a program; felt it would be good to be athletic.
And, dear parents, imagine what the high school coach is thinking from behind the scenes.
Yep, that's it, they are already counting the days until they get to deal with you.
So, before you whine about the lack of playing time or make your kid quit the team because YOU have a problem, please, just keep it zipped.
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On top of that, once junior high basketball (or, insert sport) parent takes this up the chain of command, because someone will, I would really hope once that parent steps in front of the local school board complaining about the lack of playing time, the board spends about 2.7 seconds on the matter.
Because, board members, if you spend more time on it than that, you will continue to hear from this parent, or other parents, far too often that you should.
If parents are allowed the floor because of a perceived lack of playing time in junior high sports, there is no end in sight to what they can and will complain about next.
Please, be politically incorrect, look at that parent and tell them to sit down, be quiet and let your kid learn it's OK to be the 12th player on a 12-player team; it's OK to have to work hard to get playing time; it's not OK to miss a bunch of practice time and expect to play just because you are on the team; and it's not OK to make your kid quit because they have learned nothing more than mom or dad will fight my battles for me.
Please school board, look at the parent and simply say, "keep it zipped."
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And, speaking of school boards and superintendents, I know you put up with far too much garbage than you need to.
But, if mom or dad haven't gone through the proper chain of command with a complaint, there is no way the person at the top of the pyramid should listen to a word until the chain of command has been followed.
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The bad part is this isn't just happening around here, it is going on throughout the nation and that's sad.
If mom or dad wanted to butt in back in the day, at some point in time, the kid paid for it in practice. Whether that's right or wrong, it's not politically correct, but it cured a lot of things.
This all started because someone thought it would be great if every kid received a trophy because they participated, whether it was the team that went 14-0 or the team that finished 27th in a 26-team league.
This all started because some physical education teachers thought kids should learn how to jump rope without a rope to help build their self-esteem.
This all started because those same physical education teachers thought playing dodgeball was the Beelzebub of youth activities.
Somewhere along the way, political correctness wormed its way into the sports world and the sports world has been living it down ever since.
The sports world is worse for it.
(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at email@example.com)