Full disclosure. I am a Democrat. I voted for Hillary Clinton last Tuesday. I’m not thrilled that Donald Trump is going to be our next President. But that doesn’t really matter for the argument I’m about to make.
As Americans, we are afforded many rights, including both the right to vote and the right to protest - in this case, the result of the election. Many in the past week have exercised both of those rights. But let’s be clear. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to exercise your right to protest if you didn’t exercise your right to vote.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans knelt for the national anthem on Sunday, noting after the game that he did so in protest of Donald Trump’s election. That’d be fine, assuming Evans actively did something (the only thing) he could to prevent such an outcome. But Monday morning, it was discovered that six days ago, Evans, on Instagram, noted that he didn’t actually vote. Really.
How can you champion a protest against an outcome you helped occur?
If Evans really didn’t vote, he isn’t just ticking off Trump voters with his actions. He’s delegitimizing the cause for the people who voted for Clinton and are protesting Trump’s election. He’s the wrong champion, if you will.
Evans, who is registered to vote in Galveston, Texas, and plays football in Florida, obviously can only cast one vote. Clearly, Trump won both of those states by more than one vote - so Evans’ actions wouldn’t have changed the outcome. But the mindset here is just so confusing it’s mind-boggling.
This wouldn’t make sense on either side, for the record. If Hillary had won, it’d make no sense for anyone who didn’t vote to protest her election.
By law, Evans has the right to not vote and the right to protest the result of an election he didn’t choose to participate in. But it certainly isn’t going to carry much weight.