Why The NFL’s “Anti-Kneeling Rule” Isn’t Right, But Is Legal

Recently, the NFL passed a rule that fines players if they choose to kneel during the national anthem. This came after the extremely politically charged action caused a severe drop in ratings of NFL games, and severe rebuke from the President of the United States, who recently disinvited the Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles to meet at the White House due to some members of the team performing the gesture. 

While perhaps forcing players to comply and not raise concerns on the field is not fair to the players themselves, it is without doubt a fully legal motion for the NFL to take. The NFL is not a government-run organization (though its use of penalties and suspensions may make it seem as one), rather it simply serves as a private organization that conglomerates all players and teams. As such, while they do not have the right to enforce fines on players, they do have the right to make the choice of paying fines or being ejected from the league. While they may not have legal authority to force a fine out of a player, they certainly have the legal authority to eject a player from the league. They are further legally backed since each player signs a contract detailing infractions in the league and fines required as a result.  

Many in support of players kneeling during the anthem have argued that the ban on kneeling is flatly illegal, however this could not be further from the truth. Though whether or not is wrong for the NFL to ban kneeling, it is without question that it is legal.

Fun Fact: Money collected from fines is not utilized by the NFL itself. Rather, it goes to former player’s associations that treat retired NFL players who may have been damaged or hurt as a result of the sport. 


The Supreme Court’s Decision on the Colorado Cake Case and Why It Should Be Considered a Victory for Both Parties

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Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop

The Supreme Court has recently ruled on the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, 7-2 in favor of the Cakeshop. Though many have argued that this case serves to hurt and allow for further discrimination of LGBT individuals based off religion, the ruling is actually a restrengthening of the first amendment of freedom expression (or lack of expression thereof). 

For those not previously aware of the course, the suit arose after a gay couple referred the owner of a Cakery, Jack Phillips to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after he refused to create a wedding cake for them. The Commission ruled in the couple’s favor, and Phillip proceeded to sue the commission on the grounds of disruption of his freedom of expression of religion. Phillips argued that the cakes he makes are forms of artistic expression, and as such, he should not be made legally obligated to express himself in a certain way if his religious beliefs make him unwilling to do so. 

The decision can be found here. I highly recommend reading it. In it, Kennedy writes the opinion of the court, insisting that making a cake is a form of expression, not a form of service. As such, Phillips should not be under any legal obligation to express himself in any way, especially if it is against his religion. 

I cannot personally agree with Phillips’ evident homophobia, nor do I personally believe his treatment of the gay couple was fair or logical. However, I believe that everything he did was completely legal. People should not be made to say or express themselves in any way, even if it is discriminatory to not do so. 

For this reason, this is a great reaffirmation of civil liberties guaranteed to American citizens by birth. If such liberties were withheld, America would be taken towards another step towards totalitarianism. 

How Idealism Will Be the Death of Us (And How It Already Has Been)

Google defines idealism as “the practice of forming or pursuing ideals, especially unrealistically.” Generally, in the English language, idealism is considered to be a somewhat optimistic world-view. Idealists are people who hope for the best case scenario – one of the synonyms Google gives for “idealist” is “wishful thinker”. 

So how does optimism and expecting the best cause billions of deaths over the course of humanity, destroy entire races, cities, and religions, and slow the spread of knowledge in the world? 

Simply put, it is because idealists and the practice of idealism do not consider ramifications to their actions. They are blinded by the Utopian best-case scenario to the point where they do not see the worst-case scenario. 

Some of the world’s greatest villains were idealists. Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Lenin, Pope Urban II (the Pope who called for the Great Crusades to begin) are some that come to mind. These men were by no means unintelligent; Lenin and Hitler were both prolific writers and all men were dedicated readers. They all worked with other intelligent people to create theories for the success of the world, and all three dedicated themselves to their respective causes. However, the plans of all three completely backfired. Pope Urban II caused the greatest genocide up until then, and remained as the greatest genocide until Hitler caused a greater one. Lenin thrust his country into a totalitarian regime dominated by elites, the full opposite of what he envisioned.  

I would personally argue that these men were not as evil as their actions seem to speak. Rather, it was their inability to recognize the possible ramifications of their theories and plans that caused hundreds of millions of deaths. 

Successful companies and countries do not have people at the helm who are pure idealists like Urban, Hitler, or Lenin. Even Kim Jong-Un, regarded as the most idealistic and radical leader of any country in the world, displayed a sliver of pragmatism when he called for peace  a few months ago. Still, it cannot be denied that his country is failing and falling apart due to the communist idealism that dominates North Korea.

The future of the world depends on the suspension of idealism, but unfortunately the ideals of communism and extremist religion continue to threaten the well-being of the world. 

Fortnite and the Free-To-Play Model: Why It Works

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Fortnite is without doubt the most popular video game in the world right now- the game consistently attracts the most viewers on the video game streaming platform twitch.tv, and although the game is completely free to download on mobile, console, and PC platforms, according to Superdata.com, Fortnite generated the most digital revenue for any game in April 2018 on Console platforms, and generated the fifth most revenue on the PC platform. Throughout all platforms, Epic Games made $296 million in the one month. The question arises: how can a game that is completely free to play and fully relies on in-game purchases generate more revenue than a game like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) — a game that costs $15 to download, and has a flourishing in-game purchase system as well? (According to Superdata, Counter-Strike was 10th in revenue on the PC Platform.) 

The answer is simple- accessibility. Many people watch and enjoy pros playing Fortnite and CS:GO alike, yet most are more hesitant to play and try the game for themselves if the game requires financial commitment or not. For those interested in Fortnite, stepping into a lobby requires no more than a click of a button. If a user doesn’t enjoy Fortnite, they can quickly uninstall the game with nothing lost but time. 


As a result, Fortnite attracts far more players than CS:GO does. While CS:GO’s all-time peak for concurrent players online was 850,000 in March of 2016, Fortnite peaked at 3.4 million users in March 2018. Past then, Fortnite’s creative skins, emotes, pickaxes, gliders, and battle passes make in-game purchases compelling to users, for no other reason than to make their Fortnite avatar look fly