The basketball player who turns her back on the flag...

  1. Have you guys heard about this? There's a girl named Toni Smith who plays basketball for Manhattanville College in New York who she has been turning her back on the flag during the national anthem all year as her way of protesting the possible war with Iraq.

    There are tons of articles and editorials on it, just do a search for her name (Toni Smith).

    Manhattanville College's website is http://www.mville.edu/ . There's a link to the college's official statement regarding the situation in upper right-hand corner of the web page.

    I'll post my thoughts later. What do you guys think about this?
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  2. 70 Comments

  3. by   Furball
    Isn't it great to live in a free country?

    I totally disagree with her but.......freedom of speech is more important than having my opinion rule EVERYONE.
    Last edit by Furball on Mar 5, '03
  4. by   Tilleycs
    But is a public event (a basketball game, where people have paid to watch basketball, NOT see/hear anyone's personal statements) the place for her to do this? Isn't she supposed to be there representing the school? IMO, she can make personal statements, but on HER personal time, when she is not there representing her school.
  5. by   delirium
    I agree, she can do what she chooses. What do you suggest they do? Forcibly turn her person so that she faces the flag like a good patriot?

    What she is doing is reasonable. She is expressing her opinion without infringing on anyone else's ability to express theirs.
  6. by   ShandyLynnRN
    Ya know, I have been hearing about this on the radio show I listen to in the mornings, but I never caught her name. I actually was getting ready to do a search on it when I saw this thread.

    My personal opinion is that yes, it is her right to freedom of speech, but turning your back against the American flag doesn't come across to me as a protest of war, but a protest of AMERICA. It appears to me that she is not proud of being an American, and if that is the case, then she needs to move.

    Let her march in protest parades and all the other things that people that are protesting the war will do, but it is completely inappropriate to show that kind of disrespect to her COUNTRY by turning her back to the flag that gives her her freedom in the first place.

    And I also agree, while she is representing her school, she needs to be focusing on the school function at hand, and not trying to make a personal statement. Let her do it on her own time.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Originally posted by delirium
    I agree, she can do what she chooses. What do you suggest they do? Forcibly turn her person so that she faces the flag like a good patriot?

    What she is doing is reasonable. She is expressing her opinion without infringing on anyone else's ability to express theirs.
    ITA. The freedom to express oneself w/o fear of recrimination, torture or assassination is what sets the USA apart. We sometimes forget to appreciate this freedom when people express themselves in a way that we find disagreeable or disdainful.
  8. by   ayemmeff
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    ITA. The freedom to express oneself w/o fear of recrimination, torture or assassination is what sets the USA apart. We sometimes forget to appreciate this freedom when people express themselves in a way that we find disagreeable or disdainful.
    Am I allowed to say "Ditto"! any more?
  9. by   delirium
    And I have to give props to her school for supporting her on this. Obviously they have received feedback similar to what I am reading here, and they continue to support her personal freedom. Good for them.
  10. by   Tilleycs
    I agree with Shandy, what this girl is doing is NOT being taken as her protesting Bush or the possible war. When she turns her back on the flag, she's not turning her back on war, she's turning her back on the country that the flag represents (including the people who DID go to war so she could have access to higher education and extra-curricular activities like basketball).

    I wonder if she's thought about where SHE would be if the country that the flag represents decided to exercise its right to turn its back on HER??? If she thinks this country is so horrible, I suggest she go to Iraq and try pursuing college and basketball there.

    "The freedom to express oneself w/o fear of recrimination, torture or assassination is what sets the USA apart. We sometimes forget to appreciate this freedom when people express themselves in a way that we find disagreeable or disdainful."

    And some people obviously forget to show respect and appreciation for the people who fought and DIED to give them that very freedom. I understand where you're coming from, but I think what she's doing is very disrespectful to the country. Turning your back on the flag is not the best way to say, "I don't think we should go to war with Iraq."
    Last edit by Tilleycs on Mar 5, '03
  11. by   Furball
    You know, I briefly read an article stating that young people who protest actually grow up to be emotionally healthy adults. Just smile at her using her freedoms and ignore it. If she didn't get so much attention maybe she would'nt turn her back on the flag again....maybe?
  12. by   delirium
    Originally posted by Tilleycs
    I agree with Shandy, what this girl is doing is NOT being taken as her protesting Bush or the possible war. When she turns her back on the flag, she's not turning her back on war, she's turning her back on the country that the flag represents (including the people who DID go to war so she could have access to higher education and extra-curricular activities like basketball).

    I wonder if she's thought about where SHE would be if the country that the flag represents decided to exercise its right to turn its back on HER??? If she thinks this country is so horrible, I suggest she go to Iraq and try pursuing college and basketball there.
    I don't know, Tilley, it seems to me that you're making assumptions about her viewpoint and what the action of turning her back actually means. Have you heard from her at all? Do you know what she is trying to communicate?

    And I'm sure you're not suggesting that everyone who doesn't support the war effort, or show their patriotism openly, should emigrate to Iraq?
  13. by   Tilleycs
    Originally posted by delirium
    I don't know, Tilley, it seems to me that you're making assumptions about her viewpoint and what the action of turning her back actually means. Have you heard from her at all? Do you know what she is trying to communicate?
    She has released a statement explaining what she is TRYING to do. I just think it's a very unwise way to do it. She's offending a LOT of people trying to make a statement that can be made in many other ways, and at more appropriate times.

    And I'm sure you're not suggesting that everyone who doesn't support the war effort, or show their patriotism openly, should emigrate to Iraq?
    Nope, but if anyone thinks this country is so horrible, they're more than welcome to move and try things "on the other side". I'd be interested to hear if their perspectives change.
  14. by   delirium
    I agree that there are more effective ways she could make this statement, and that it is offensive to many, particularly in these turbulent times.

    However, I still say she can do as she chooses.

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