Milwaukee Bucks' Chris Douglas-Roberts Deserves Respect for Speaking Out About Death of Osama Bin Laden Are athletes role models?

It’s debatable, that’s for sure. But at the very least, they should have the freedom to formulate their own opinions and speak freely without being chastised, right?


Maybe not.

It’s been a long 24 hours for the Milwaukee Bucks’ Chris Douglas-Roberts, who took to Twitter on Sunday night to express his thoughts on the killing of Osama bin Laden. While an entire nation around him was rejoicing, CDR had a few misgivings to share.

“It took 919,967 deaths to kill that one guy,” he tweeted.

“It took 10 years and two wars to kill that guy.”

“It cost us roughly $1,188,263,000,000 to kill that guy.”

CDR had a lot of good points. While the knee-jerk reaction to bin Laden’s death is celebration, there are a lot of reasons it isn’t that simple. To blindly trumpet “God Bless America” without a second thought is a flawed notion. It took a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of lives — both Americans and other citizens of the world — for Sunday night’s announcement to come to fruition. There’s a lot about this bin Laden news that’s not to like.

Ultimately, CDR warned his 28,000 followers that all we’re doing is celebrating death as retaliation for more death. CDR is a devout Christian, and that doesn’t sit well with him. But you don’t have to subscribe to a particular religion to know there’s something unsettling about all this. We should all be able to level with him.

And yet CDR got blasted by countless Twitter followers on Sunday night for his controversial viewpoints. They called him names, they told him to leave the country, and they told him that it wasn’t his place to speak. He’s an athlete. His job is to make jump shots, not political speeches.

But isn’t that against what America’s all about?

We all have our freedom of speech. Whether we’re presidents, soldiers, NBA players, doctors, lawyers, flight attendants, cab drivers, janitors or sports bloggers, we all have the right to speak our minds. It’s even in the Constitution. You can look it up.

CDR’s words were surprising to some — athletes are expected to toe the line and give the standard sports cliches. One game a time, 110 percent. But when a guy veers away from that norm, why attack him for it? Shouldn’t he be praised for being engaged in current events and being willing to speak?

“Us athletes somehow got put in a box where we have to be politically correct ALL THE TIME,” he tweeted in a response to Jazz guard C.J. Miles. “Which I feel is lying to ourselves.”

Sure is.

We should all share what’s on our minds, especially at a time like this. That’s exactly the freedom that Americans fight to protect.

What do you think of athletes speaking out about Osama bin Laden? Share your thoughts below.