National Columnist

Hate Mail: Free speech isn't free of stupidity


Updated July 21

This week we're discussing the First Amendment, but not because I want to discuss it -- you do. Readers were dying to hammer me over the head with it, but they missed and hit themselves on the foot.

Scary people, these readers. The Second Amendment wasn't meant for people that dumb.

I'm guessing we'll revisit the previous sentence next week in Hate Mail ...

From: Joe S.

James Harrison's comments may be off-base, but last I checked this is the USA -- where we have freedom of speech. Wake up before you write your misguided article.

Sigh. Of course he can say what he wants -- I'm not arguing that he should go to JAIL, you moron. But just as Harrison has rights, so do businesses. And a popular business (the NFL) cannot let the public think it tolerates bigoted hate speech from its representatives (Harrison). This stuff isn't that hard.

From: Doug

Get off your high horse and read up on the First Amendment. Too bad if you don't like it, but people can say what they want.

Yes they can -- and their business can discipline them if they say something that offends millions of potential customers. Shoot, I give up. Maybe this stuff really is that hard.

From: Dave Martin

I guess anyone that disagrees with you is ignorant! It must be nice to be so wise and smart!

You have no idea. I mean that literally, Dave.

From: Doug Britt

I think the Goodell article is good, but the disdainful way you painted James Harrison and other Goodell detractors lessened its impact as a whole.

You giving me pointers on how to make an impact? Go counsel a wayward meteor or something. I make plenty of impact my way.

From: Will

This is the first time I've read your column, but it seems you like to toot your own horn.

I'll say this for you: You're a quick learner (1987, '88).

From: Neelay

You're hearing from a reader who used to absolutely hate your columns, but now I love how they get no-life readers so riled up that they bash you without realizing how painful the response will be in Hate Mail. You should be on national TV with your own show. Just what America needs.

I don't know. I'm not comfortable tooting my own horn.

From: Tony

You're an idiot, and your rant about DeSean Jackson shows how morally bankrupt America has become.

Wrong, Tony. I'm just what America needs. Pay attention.

From: Stan

Keep defending the establishment, you puppet.

Keep sniffing those jocks, you idiot.

From: Phil P.

Thanks for your article on Goodell not being a racist. You can be a crotchety dink, but you nailed this one.

A crotchety WHAT?

From: David Pinnick

You should not be a columnist. Your one-sided view on Roger Goodell is ridiculous. How about THE FANS? The players hate Goodell, and so do the fans. You know -- the people that matter. That, for me, was the last column I'll read by Gregg Doyel.

You break my heart, David. On the bright side, you just saved my bosses a few minutes of work. After reading your silly comments on the message boards below various stories, they were going to ask you to leave.

From: Steve M.

Dude your greatness is you ain't scared. I always know when I read your work it's not going to be blah-blah with you sucking up to some jerk from jock kingdom.

Your email, literally, came right after that note from dainty David Pinnick.

From: Lucas

Your recent column on Roger Goodell is why you're the best sports columnist out there today. People hate you for speaking the truth.

You getting the point, David Pinnick? I know you're still here -- guys like you can't quit me. You probably have my picture on your ceiling.

From: Kirk Spano

As a guy with a higher income, IQ and more readers than you -- I have a hard time even bothering to write. Very simply, while Bud Selig isn't perfect, he has saved the game from the greed and egocentric self-interest of both sides. I think Selig is just smart enough to know hacks like you are nothing but noise. Looking forward to a good article from you. I won't hold my breath.

No idea who you are. Looked you up, Karl, and still no idea.

From: John Case

Your first sentence in the DeSean Jackson story is not quite correct. Your opinion is not a loser -- you are. Get a new job. One that shows you have a brain.

Maybe I can get a job like that last guy, Karl, whose income and IQ are huge and who has more readers than I do on his website up there on Planet Delusional.

From: David Xaviel

Here's the irony of your defense of Roger Goodell. You claim that being strict and harsh is the same as tough love from parents. Maybe that's why sportswriters like you hate the blogosphere -- we're harsh on you, but only because it's tough love so that you guys quit acting like immature brats.

Never heard of you or your blog. Is "David Xaviel" a pseudonym for "Karl Something or other"? But anyway, I love The Big Lead, Sports By Brooks and Deadspin -- and they seem to like me. So what was your point, other than your own insignificance?

From: Ira

I don't hate anyone -- I just don't condone homosexual behavior anymore than I do that of a child molester.

For our society's future, Ira, I hope you're sterile. Too late for this next guy.

From: Kevin, Joshua's Daddy

I'm disgusted by the PC crowd telling me what I should say and who I should accept, and having to guard EVERYTHING I say for fear I will offend someone like you. I have the right to say whatever I want, about whoever I want, and the First Amendment says so. I don't like f-gs and that's OK. I'm sorry you are too limp-wristed -- oops, sorry -- to speak your mind, but I'm not. I don't like f-gs, qu--rs, dairy queens ... I could go on, but I don't want to offend you LMAO.

When he's old enough to think for himself, Joshua will be humiliated that you're his father.

From: Josh Craig

Whenever anybody tells you that sexuality is a choice, like they did in last week's Hate Mail, that means they're obviously attracted to both sexes and had to make the choice themselves. Myself? I've always been attracted to women. I've never been confronted with a choice -- it's who I am.


Gregg Doyel is a columnist for He covered the ACC for the Charlotte Observer, the Marlins for the Miami Herald, and Brooksville (Fla.) Hernando for the Tampa Tribune. He was 4-0 (3 KO's!) as an amateur boxer, and volunteers for the ALS Association. Follow Gregg Doyel on Twitter.

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