Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is furious that the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) voted this week to allow players to refuse to stand for the national anthem, so he decided he’d introduce a piece of legislation that has no chance of passing the House and appears to be unconstitutional on its face.
Gaetz vented his spleen regarding the matter on his podcast and also posted on Twitter:
If our soccer team is going to disrespect our anthem and our flag, it is not essential for us to have.
I discuss on today’s podcast episode ?https://t.co/s9GQm2OjkD
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) June 12, 2020
But as Ian Quillen notes in Forbes, Gaetz clearly doesn’t have a clue when it comes to the true meaning of the First Amendment, and his bill is little more than a cry for attention. Quillen bases that on two factors:
“The measure would violate FIFA’s ban on third-party interference in the business of national federations. This, as Anne Peterson of the Associated Press points out, would be especially problematic given the United States is set to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup alongside Mexico and Canada.
“While we don’t know the specifics of the bill, which are scheduled to be released on Saturday evening, it seems likely to clash with the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment, which reads as follows:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Additionally, while teams fielded by the USSF do indeed play under the colors of the United States, the federal government doesn’t provide regular funding for their activities, which means neither Gaetz or anyone else in the U.S. government can enforce a damn thing when it comes to the national soccer team or the anthem.
Gaetz got roundly mocked on Twitter for his pointless conniption fit:
Holy hell. I honestly didn’t think you could look douchier, but here you are. Wow. Well done.
— trump4jail2020 (@trump4jail2020) June 12, 2020
I’m so glad Covid is over and racism is solved so that you can focus on these important issues.
— DForch (@d_forch) June 12, 2020
People of Florida have a wasted seat in Congress. That’s the best you can do for your State. You spend your time on Fox, your Podcast and Soccer players kneeling. What a waste of time. Im sure your State has more pressing issues you could focus on.
— Joanne Miranda (@jmmtyrrell) June 12, 2020
Have a beer and take a seat.
— Julie (@JulieVillanelle) June 12, 2020
Could you try to be useful to this nation just once?
— Kimberly Bachmann (@kbachmann67) June 12, 2020
Hypocrisy at it’s finest!!! https://t.co/7HJ5ky06xs
— Jennifer Reddicks (@jr4226) June 13, 2020
Featured Image Via Fox News