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Goodbye Personal Liberty: Falcons Fire Scout Because He Declined COVID Vaccine

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There are three types of people in America:

— Those who believe Atlanta Falcons area scout Rodrik David getting fired by the irrelevant, flailing NFL team on Thursday was great because every other employee within club owner Arthur Blank’s empire is vaccinated, and David, who refused the so-called jab, should have bowed the proverbial knee and complied.

— Those who don’t care because, what the heck, Rodrick David could as easily be Larry David for all we know — except probably not as funny or smugly liberal — and so let’s just live our own lives while other people sink or swim.

— And those who see this as an affront to personal liberty and the right not to be discriminated against in the United States of America based on one’s medical circumstances, choices or history.

If you’re not in that last group, you’ve been brainwashed.

And your vision is off.

And, with all respect to those blind, brainwashed folks whose heartrate is climbing reading this, I’ll explain your problem in a moment if you bear with me.

First, you should know David is pretty good at his job. This is his fifth season with the Falcons and his second as an area scout. He joined the club as a scouting intern during training camp, prior to the 2015 season, and was hired as a scouting assistant in February of 2016. He was promoted to pro scout prior to the 2017 season.

David was a riser.

But David is unemployed now because some billionaire decided he knows what’s best for all his employees. And what’s best, the owner decided, is to mandate all of them get vaccinated for COVID-19 — ostensibly because we must keep everyone healthy, even if we must invade their privacy, intervene in their personal decisions, and even threaten their careers with ruin if we have to.

Blank obviously believes he’s doing society some great favor because the vaccine makes everyone immune from COVID-19 and its multiple variants.

(Except it doesn’t, just look at the troubling situation in Israel, which is one of the most vaccinated nations on earth.)

And, oh yeah, whoever doesn’t like the owner’s rules is out, regardless of how that wrecks anyone’s life.

Because it’s Blank’s company, he gets to write his rules, and there are unwavering ruthless consequences for the individual not doing exactly what the corporate master says.

Bad look, Arthur Blank.

Terrible optics.

Now comes the part in this column where I try to reason with the angry people who are convinced I’m a lunatic for daring to defend personal freedom at any cost:

Let me begin with the idea that you’re on a slippery slope as you watch David and other unvaxxed people get axed. Because you very well could be next.

It is not a leap to think that a private enterprise firing someone based on one medical decision can think it has the right to fire someone else based other medical decisions or circumstances.

You might get MRSA? We can fire you.

You’re at risk of getting yellow fever? We can fire you.

Been anywhere around people with Ebola? Fired.

Like David, you don’t have to actually have the disease we’re afraid of. We just think you’re not doing enough to prevent getting one of those whack diseases. So, you are fired.

All of these diseases are highly contagious and there are no known cures. So if you believe it’s in the best interest of your workers to fire someone who didn’t take the COVID vaccine based on the possibility one might infect others, it’s no great leap to start chopping any employee who is at risk of contracting any contagious illness.

And where does it stop?

Today it’s, “You must be vaxxed.”

Tomorrow it could be, “You must get marked” — if you get my drift.

Allow me to walk you through an exercise that will judge your intellectual fair mindedness:

Raise your hand if you think it would be fair to fire an employee because she had an abortion.

No one raises their hand because it’s 2021 and we defend the right of people to make decisions about their own bodies, right? How is that decision about one’s own body protected but not a decision about what to inject into one’s own body?

Well, the argument might retort, abortion, unlike Coronavirus, isn’t a great threat to society. Nobody gets hurt by an abortion like they might get hurt if people are refusing vaccines, the argument goes.

Tell that to the 60 million babies killed by abortion since the 1970s.

So, fair minded folks, if you defend a women’s right to get abortion, you must defend a person’s right to refuse a vaccine.

Hear that, Arthur Blank?

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a fundamental “right to privacy” that protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose whether or not to have an abortion without repercussions from greater society.

It can, and eventually will be argued in American courts by someone with the huge cojones, that the “right to privacy” clause also protects a person’s liberty to choose whether or not to get a vaccine without repercussions from greater society.

I know what you’re thinking…

The slippery slope argument is fear mongering. It’ll never happen.

I pray you’re right. But I already know you’re wrong.

In the last year, we went from “15 days to slow the spread” to “30 days to slow the spread,” to months locked up at home.

We went from masks don’t help, to masks help, to wear two masks at one point.

These people writing and shaping COVID narratives are the masters of the slippery slope.

And they’re the masters of illogical rules.

We were told to stay six feet apart, as if the virus couldn’t infect you at 5-foot-10.

We were told to wear a mask in restaurants but not when eating because, obviously, the virus understands to avoid folks wolfing down a hamburger.

Vaccines went from being the devil because they were created under the Donald Trump administration to being a saving grace under the Joe Biden administration. Same vaccines.

We were told the vaccines provide immunity and when that shifted to everyone understanding they don’t provide immunity, the CDC actually changed the definition of immunity on its website.

We were told you’ll never need a booster, then we were told here come the boosters, and now we’re told you’re not fully vaccinated unless you get all the boosters.

This is a never-ending cycle of people moving the goal posts because they simply do not possess absolute answers provided by unshakeable science.

But these are the people you are trusting as experts.

These are the people Arthur Blank is taking advice from as he implements uncompromising company policy that discriminates against an individual for making a personal vaccine decision.

Twitter: @armandosalguero

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Written by Armando Salguero

Armando Salguero has covered the NFL since 1990 for the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and ESPN. He was a 2016 Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 columnist. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame selector and AP All-Pro team voter.

10 Comments

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  1. Bingo. I wish more journalists pointed this out, but they don’t. Why you ask? Have you watched any tv lately? How many drug commercials are on tv? A lot, right? Well guess what, they won’t pay fir ads if your news organization says something g they don’t like or could hurt their bottom line.

    Arthur Blank is a putz. He’s been a terrible owner. This is yet another reason not to go to a game, besides the horrible product on the field.

    The rea brains behind home depot was Bernie Marcus. Arthur was along for the ride.

  2. Great article Armando. Half of the country are brainwashed fools. Unless something changes we are heading to a bad place at breakneck speeds. Hopefully more people will wake up and realize what’s happening but as long as the media is allowed to lie and push bs propaganda I’m afraid many will never know the truth.

  3. Great article.

    I’d also like to point out the arbitrary “COVID rule” where we were told Bars/restaurants had to shut down at 10:00 pm, as if the virus was more deadly in the middle of the night.

    None of it makes any sense.

  4. Armando, you hit it out of the park, upper deck shot. I may very well find myself in a similar circumstance with my employer in the coming weeks. Will they choose to carelessly trample our civil rights, or will they allow employees to freely exercise our God given rights to what goes into our own bodies without coercion or intimidation? It’s shocking to think this must even be debated among civilized human beings.

  5. I chose to get vaccinated because I believe it made sense for me. And I believe the vaccine works.
    And that is the reason why I don’t give a hoot whether someone else is vaccinated or not.
    If someone asks me I will give them my opinion. But to force someone that does not want a medicine to take it is not something the Government should do.
    To add insult to injury many of the people who do not want to get vaccinated have had the virus. There are several studies that suggest that those people have far greater protection than the vaccine. But they have to get vaccinated or lose their jobs.
    The mandates have everything to do with politics and zero to do with science.

    • Gines, I’m like you – pro-vax, anti-mandate. All these healthcare workers losing their jobs in places like NYC because they’re not vaxxed is creating a shortage of medical personnel, and as a result, medical care will get worse. A lot worse. Wait for all the medical malpractice lawsuits because they’re coming.

  6. While I agree with the general sentiment of the article, the author commits a pretty massive whopper in claiming there is a “right to privacy” clause in the 14th amendment. Um, no, patently there is not. Not in the 14th, nor anywhere else in the Constitution. The due process clause does not mention privacy any more than it does sex, a driver’s license, beer, or shooting off fireworks.

    If it helps, since clearly some help is needed, here is the entire text of the 14th amendment:

    Section 1
    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Section 2
    Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

    Section 3
    No Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

    Section 4
    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

    Section 5
    The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

  7. That’s absolutely correct. But somehow William Douglas found a right to privacy in Griswold vs Connecticut (1965). He pointed to the 1st. 3rd and 9th Amendment as basis.
    That decision was the basis of a few other notable decision, most notably, Roe vs Wade.
    Griswold vs Connecticut remains the law of the land until repealed.
    Respectfully

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