The United States is known for freedom of speech, but that does not necessarily mean Americans have freedom from consequences. A father allegedly being punished for the actions of his son, though? Especially when considering those actions were completely legal, that is completely over the top and unnecessary.
Unfortunately, that has apparently been the case for Akeem Spence’s dad after he (Akeem) protested the National Anthem by taking a knee this past weekend. The Detroit Lions defensive tackle tweeted that his dad was denied a job on building a house because of his son’s actions:
As Michael Rothstein of ESPN passed on, Spence was one of eight Lions who knelt during the National Anthem this past Sunday. And sure, not everybody agrees in the protest and not even everybody agrees in the reasons for it — or Colin Kaepernick’s reasons last season — but not hiring someone because of the peaceful actions of their son is rather low.
It’s even worse when one realizes the heart behind the matter. Spence eloquently explained his reasons for protesting, again, as passed on by Rothstein:
“No disrespect to the flag, no disrespect to any of the veterans or anything. It was just right is right, wrong is wrong, and what the guy said about us as NFL players, I just feel like that’s something that’s us, as NFL players, we have to stand up for that’s not what we are,” Spence said. “You know what I’m saying. We’re human beings. We give back to the community.
“We do great things, and our owners, you know what I’m saying, they do great things. So that’s something we don’t represent around the NFL. That’s something every team should have come out and showed this Sunday, that it’s not what that guy said about us.”
“The guy” Spence is referring to is none other than President Donald Trump, who gave some rather inflammatory remarks on NFL players protesting this past weekend.
That led to many in the NFL, and even whole teams, protesting Trump. As far as Spence is concerned, though, he saw it as a matter of right versus wrong:
“It’s crazy and it’s wrong, you know. It shouldn’t be like that,” Spence said. “We’re hard-working people who give back to the community. Our owners are the same way, you know, and they have the utmost respect for us and we have the utmost respect for our country, our flag and everything like that. So for our head guy to say something like that about our owners and what they should do, that’s something that I can’t, man, right is right.
“I felt like he was wrong in that sense, and we just came out and acted unity, together and just tried to make a statement.”
For what it’s worth, the contractor who allegedly turned down Spence’s father was also well within his rights, but the reasoning behind the alleged decision certainly doesn’t feel right.