THE STRIKE ZONE
Sometimes Sports, Sometimes Sportsmanship
By Sean Ryan
Chairperson of the Board of Directors
Thank goodness we live in a country where freedom of speech is a protected right from the government.
On November 17, 2022, Tonje Gjevjon, a Norwegian lesbian filmmaker and actress, was informed that she was under investigation for comments she made on Facebook against Norwegian activist Christine Jentoft, a transgender female who refers to herself as a lesbian mother. Gjevjon implied that men cannot be lesbians.
In Norway, this speech is punishable by fines and jail time. Gjevjon could face up to 3 years in prison for voicing her thoughts.
What Gjevjon said is irrelevant, as extremist views can go both ways politically. The issue is that she is facing jail time over things she said regarding her beliefs. Each of us is free to disagree with those beliefs as well as also voice opposition to those beliefs, but to be jailed over voicing an opinion is tantamount to tyranny.
A recent amendment made to Norway's penal code added that any speech that slanders gender identity or expression is grounds for fines and possible jail time. This fundamentally goes against human nature, as we are each allowed to have an opinion about anything. Consequently, of course, others are allowed to respond in kind.
Good sportsmanship is not about what you say, but in how you say it. Moreover, it’s about how you respond to someone else’s point of view. Norway's law defining the penalty of force and incarceration for voicing an opinion is the epitome of poor sportsmanship.
As we begin the new year, think not only about what you say before you say it, but also respond in a way that is level headed and logical.
"One cool judgement is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat." – Woodrow Wilson