So who has the right to free speech when cloaked in NFL colors, and who doesn't?
That there are contradictions inherent throughout the American experiment is as obvious as a nose in the middle of one's face. These contradictions pop up over and over again. Like, how the so-called leaders of the free world managed to elect a pseudo ambiguous racist and not-so-ambiguous misogynist to office. Or how peacekeeping forces cause as much death and pain to occupied lands as those who they're suppose to be fighting against.
Today, we have Denver Broncos General Manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway's letter in support of Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court, on team letterhead no less.
"A native of Colorado, Neil has demonstrated tremendous intelligence, character and fairness while serving more than a decade on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit," wrote the former quarterback turned general manager and executive vice president for football for the Broncos.
"His credentials, integrity and sound moral compass are major reasons why he has already received so much bipartisan support for the nomination."
Elway has spoken out in favor of conservative ideals in politics before. But Broncos vice president of public relations Patrick Smyth was quick on the draw to distance the franchise from Elway's statement, tweeting the letter was written on Elway's personal letterhead, citing the left margin, and that "his endorsement is independent of the Denver Broncos."
What's done is done, and there definitely was a reason why he decided to use letterhead that featured the Denver Broncos rather than simply a personalized letterhead. Seeing that Broncos logo signifies a great deal in America.
The Broncos are synonymous with championships and with the majesty of the Rocky Mountains. It strikes up images of cowboys, herds and wild stallions being busted and broncoed. The imagery and iconography is among America's most favorite.
But the hypocrisy comes in the form of silence from many in the National Football League's so-called moral authority. You know, those unnamed GM's, as well as their media proxy fighters, who jumped all over Colin Kaepernick's protest against the oppression of people of color in America are noticeably silent.
The main dismissive overture tossed at Kaep repeatedly was 'Stick to football.' Is a matter of fact, that is the most popular refrain tossed at any person of color when they decide to speak truth to power while playing sports.
Meanwhile, white males are encouraged to speak out about the preferred version of American history, the version where John Wayne wasn't a racist and where slaves were treated well.
Though Neil Gorsuch is a Republican, this is not a partisan piece. I am not knocking Elway's right to speak out in support of whoever he feels. But this Elway/Kaep juxtaposition is just the most recent in a plethora instances that show that America will always make an exception for white male leadership, and punish black males for showing that same initiative for causes they hold dear.
Meanwhile, a brother has likely cost himself millions of dollars in salary fighting for what he feels is right and is being shunned. Ultimately in this paradigm, contradiction is just another word for hypocrisy.