Athletes and coaches have as much right as anyone in this country to express their points of view. They don’t suddenly stop being citizens when they walk onto the field.
That’s something South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman doesn’t seem to understand.
Norman, who represents the state’s 5th Congressional District, decided to take time out of his busy schedule Tuesday to hop on Twitter and berate Alabama football Coach Nick Saban for signing a letter sent to West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin urging Manchin to support voting rights legislation now before the U.S. Senate.
“Nick Saban should focus on winning National Championships instead of destroying our elections,” Norman Tweeted.
Saban, who has appeared in one of Manchin’s campaign commercials and is a friend of the senator, was one of five men who signed the letter.
The others were Jerry West, Oliver Luck, Darryl Talley, and Paul Tagliabue, each with ties to West Virginia.
Like any other citizen, they each have the right to contact elected officials and offer their opinions, and championing the right to vote could not be a more urgent cause.
The right to vote is a bedrock of this nation’s democracy, and it is disappointing, and frankly embarrassing, that the nation has to even debate the issue, but as long as it’s up for debate Saban is free to argue for passage of legislation designed to protect it.
Norman, rather than going after Saban and the others, should focus on serving the people that live and work in the state’s 5th Congressional District., and maybe even protect their right to have their voices heard.