It really does feel like free speech is a swinging pendulum sometimes.
First, Colin Kaepernick made a quiet protest by taking a knee before 49ers game.
Then, the NFL's owners collectively elected not to sign him to any of the league's 32 teams.
Then other NFL players stepped up to protest in his place.
And then the President got involved, making statements on the record and tweeting repeatedly about his disagreement with players' decisions to demonstrait during the National Anthem.
After that, a record number of protesters made headlines before Week 3 NFL games — followed by backlash from Jerry Jones and other NFL owners who told their players they were not permitted to demonstrait.
And now, ESPN's Jemele Hill got caught in the crossfire, as she's been suspended from the network for making some reasonable points.
Just so we're clear: I'm not advocating a NFL boycott. But an unfair burden has been put on players in Dallas & Miami w/ anthem directives.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 9, 2017
If fans really are that upset about what JJ & Stephen Ross have done, don't call the players sellouts, but you're watching every Sunday.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 9, 2017
Eagles' safety Malcom Jenkins — a big supporter and participant in demonstrations meant to bring awareness to the inequality rampand across the country at the detrement of minorities — spoke out in support of Hill Tuesday.
"Its unfortunate," Jenkins, who respectfully stands while raising a fist on Sundays, said. "I think she's somebody who speaks a lot of truth and I support her 100 percent. Based on the conduct you see from our president, from all of these other high ranking officials for her to be reprimanded for speaking her mind — and she didn't say anything derogatory or with malice — but just speaking her mind, is unfortunate. Luckily for her she has a lot of people supporting her and she'll continue to garner that support."
It will be interesting to see how far the NFL pushes back, and how ESPN stands with their decision to suspend someone for such seeminly benign tweets in support of the players in a league that are 75 percent African American (just like Hill).