I admit that I have a Libertarian’s skepticism about law enforcement practices in this country. That said, no grievance, no matter how legitimate, justifies acts of random violence upon anyone. I am not exactly sure where the the First Amendment ends and incitement begins, but some of what is being said, especially in the midst of “peaceful” protests is getting awfully close to the line.
Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell tweeted (before the Dallas attack) a pretty vile drawing of a police officer having his throat cut by a man dressed in all black, with blood gushing from the wound. This “art” is certainly protected speech, in the sense that Crowell should not face sanction from the Government, but the private organization the Cleveland Browns have a right to fine or even fire Crowell. Apparently this will not be happening.
NSFW? Image below the jump.
“In the illustration posted by Crowell, the officer is being stabbed in the neck by a person in a black jacket and hood, with his face covered. He has an ankh pendant around his neck, which was an ancient Egyptian character that represented the concept of eternal life. He’s also wearing black gloves and an American flag backpack.
Blood is spurting out of the officer’s neck and mouth, which is covered by the murderer’s hand.
Crowell’s caption read, “They give police all types of weapons and they continually choose to kill us….#Weak.”
The post, which received 33 likes, was take down almost immediately, but was screen-shotted and circulated on social media.”
Crowell, who was dismissed from the Georgia Bulldogs football team following weapons charges (subsequently dropped), is a horrible representative for a team that does not need any more negative press. Of course the Browns are handling this situation in their typically obtuse manner,
With racial tensions running high in the country in the wake of the murder of five police officers in Dallas on Thursday many fans and some media, including ESPNCleveland’s Bruce Hooley, have called for Crowell’s immediate dismissal by the Browns.
They currently have no plans to do that, but stressed in a statement that he must back up his words with action.
“We have spoken to Isaiah regarding his extremely disturbing and unacceptable social media decision,” the Browns said in the statement, attributed to a team spokesman. “It was completely inappropriate and we have made him aware of our high level of disappointment. Isaiah has apologized but also knows that just an apology is insufficient and that he must take steps to make a positive difference after a very negative and impactful post.”
Before making any determination on possible discipline for Crowell, the Browns will give him a chance to redeem himself by being part of the solution instead of the problem. At this point, both the team and the NFL seem satisfied that Crowell took the post down immediately, acknowledged his mistake and is genuinely remorseful.
The Browns continue to be a complete joke. And the NFL for that matter.