Liberalism and the NBA locker room

In a comment on my post about the punishment of the NFL player who was offended by Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend on national television, and expressed his disapproval publicly, John says the NFL’s reaction shows that modern liberalism has nothing to do with protecting people from being offended. John’s contention finds support in the locker room of basketball’s Indiana Pacers.

After a big Pacers win over the Washington Wizards, Mike Wise, a columnist for the Washington Post, complained on twitter about the music being played in the Indiana locker room. According to Wise, it was “B–ch this, H- that. Nbombs.”

Wise received considerable pushback. Much of it was as nasty and mindless as the music he criticized. The more serious criticism focused on his apparent desire to censor the music played in the locker room.

Wise responded by invoking Donald Sterling:

We have spent the better part of two weeks discussing the Racist In Our Midst. Donald Sterling’s pathetic pillow talk had to be unearthed — perhaps illegally — for that to happen, but once it was, the Los Angeles Clippers owner was thrown out of his own building and banned from the league for life. . . .

[T]his was the right thing to do.

But that sense of right and wrong is not a selective ideal, applicable in some situations and not others. Anyone expecting civility and decency and respect in the workplace damn sure better extend it to others. . . .

You can’t ban Sterling from NBA arenas in the interest of inclusiveness and at the same time allow misogynist, racial and gay slurs to roar through the speakers of your locker rooms.

Actually you can, and have it make perfect sense once you understand that modern liberalism isn’t about inclusiveness or preventing people from being offended. Modern liberalism has established a pecking order in which the rights and feelings of some groups trump the rights and feelings of others (often women), and in which the feelings of the group Wise belongs to are irrelevant.

In my view, NBA players who have just endured a 48 minute battle should be allowed to play pretty much whatever recorded garbage they like regardless of whether it offends the sportswriters who merely witnessed the contest. But then, I also believe that the owner of an NBA team should be allowed to say whatever he likes in his own house without being banned for life from the league.

Call this view pre-modern, non-authoritarian liberalism.

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