First Amendment Gives You A Right To Be A Jerk, But With A Price

Years ago, at the now defunct Warehouse Grille (since rebranded Flamingo A Go Go) on Magazine & St. Joseph and hours before the Saints were scheduled to play the Carolina Panthers, a woman from Baton Rouge decided that was the perfect time to confront me over an alleged tweet that insulted her.

While I believed that this was the wrong place and time to do it, as well as an ambush of sorts, I also felt that the woman, who was rather profane in the confrontation and wouldn’t give me a chance to profusely apologize, was well within her right to voice her displeasure. She was allowed that space to express how she felt, regardless of the tone and the word choice she used in her interaction with me.

Recently, two well-known jerks, former baseball player Aubrey Huff and insufferable gun advocate Kaitlin Bennett, have gone off the deep end about their First Amendment rights being trampled on by people who disagree with their political views. To them, they feel that being made fun of at Ohio University or being disinvited to a championship celebration is some liberal agenda.

When in actuality, it’s not.

The reason why Aubrey Huff, who played a major role in the Giants winning their first World Series since 1954, had nothing to do with his freedom to be a jerk or even his unwavering support of Donald Trump.

Huff’s disinvite to the 10-year celebration of the 2010 championship celebration was largely in part due to the fact that he posted tweets about teaching his kids how to use a gun in the event that Bernie Sanders defeated Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election as well as insulting tweets about MLB’s first full-time female coach, Alyssa Nakken, who was hired by the Giants earlier this year.

Of course, like any clueless jerk, Huff was too stupid to realize that the Giants were well within their right to disinvite him to any event revolving around the team. So much so that he decided to tweet at Major League Baseball and Trump about what he felt was a grave injustice.

Over 2,000-plus miles away in Athens, Ohio, insufferable gun advocate Kaitlin Bennett (I’m not sure we can even call her that) decided to pay a surprise visit to Ohio University on Presidents’ Day to ask students questions about the holiday. And while Bennett was well within her right to appear on the Ohio University campus unannounced, the students, who probably wanted to spend their Mondays doing something else, was well within their right to voice their displeasure about her visit.

Hours after being chased off the Ohio University campus, Bennett took a page out of the Aubrey Huff playbook, lamenting that the Ohio University campus police didn’t do enough to protect her from protestors and said that Trump should strip funding from schools that don’t do enough to protect his supporters.

“This is what happens when a Trump supporter goes to a college campus,” she wrote on Twitter about the protest.

I’m pretty certain that Ohio University, like any other university in the country, has their lion’s share of Trump supporters on campus.

But the reason why the students at Ohio University, just like everyone else she comes into contact with, confronts her and makes her whine on social media like my four year-old surrogate niece in Broadmoor when things don’t go her way, is because she goes out of her way to look for a fight when she goes into journalist mode.

Instead of asking questions without personal bias and a snarky tone, she does the complete opposite when she talks to college students, people that are for the most part 2-4 years younger than her. More importantly, she becomes petulant when the students that she interview don’t agree with her controversial opinions.

According to the framers of the United States Constitution, the First Amendment means that we have the freedom to voice our opinions without the government stepping in. Meaning that both Bennett and Huff have the freedom to support whoever they want and be a jerk along the way.

However, while we as Americans have the freedom to be jerks, it doesn’t mean that our jerk-like ways come without consequence.

For Huff, who actually had a solid baseball career and won two rings with the Giants, his jerk-like ways on social media, not his political support, cost him a chance to partake in the championship ceremony with his 2010 teammates.

The Giants were well within their rights to deny him that privilege.

That same line of thinking applies to Bennett as well. While she has the freedom to be a jerk and support whoever she wants, the downside of that is paying a hefty price, something that I learned years ago in a crowded Warehouse Grille and what Huff sorely doesn’t want to learn.

You can huff and puff, tweet to Trump, and take your ball.

But sooner or later, you’re going to be a sideshow attraction that everyone ignores.


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