i’m just now hearing about this season-long, silent protest against the impending war by a division III women’s basketball player named toni smith. she’s been turning her back to the american flag when our national anthem plays before games. at first, i thought maybe this was a legit way to express your first amendment rights. and it is within her rights to do so. but the more i thought about it, i’d have to agree with dan patrick on her means….

In this case, however, boundaries have been crossed. It’s one thing to voice an opinion, but it’s completely different to turn your back — literally, not figuratively. In turning her back on the American flag, Smith is doing more than making her point — she’s rejecting everything the flag and this country represent….

Ultimately, I thank God that a young girl like Toni Smith has the right to protest. But I also can’t ignore the ignorance and naivete of her stance.

and her completely ludicrous statement “that the government’s priorities are not on bettering the quality of life for all of its people, but rather on expanding its own power” has me questioning her intelligence. sounds like she’s totally bought into the whole ‘blood for oil’ thing. sometimes i think this peace protest stuff works like an inner city gang. you get involved in a common cause(for gangs, it’s protection against other gangs) which brings people together. it creates a circle of friends with a bond and loyalty to each other, creating a sense of belonging. in the case of peace protestors, they claim a moral high ground. to them, the US is just a thug that wants to kill innocent iraqis. they don’t see anything else.

while ralph wiley is one of my favorite sportswriters, he’s wrong about the vietnam vet that protested her protest by running on the court with an american flag. i didn’t see it as “bullying” or “intimidating”. he was simply expressing his right to social protest just as she had been. and while no one has more right to protest, this is a man who actually put his life on the line to serve this country. a young college girl who has the freedom to study and play basketball should realize that men like him, who sacrificed throughout our history, gave her these rights. unfortunately, all she’ll end up being is another useful idiot.

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