Tuscaloosa, Alabama is not a community that regularly finds itself in the national media’s eyes, but this year it has been in the bulls eye twice. First were the horrific events surrounding the vicious tornado on April 27, 2011 that decimated parts of the town. On November 5, however, Tuscaloosa made the national news for a much more comforting reason. The so-called “Game of the Century” between #1-ranked LSU and #2-ranked Alabama college football teams garnered national attention, and ESPN’s coveted GameDay descended on the town to help incite the media circus.
For 22-year-old Brad Lake, a University of Alabama alumnus, it was a great weekend to visit his hometown and take part in the festivities. He headed out to the GameDay station to participate with his trusty sign. It read simply:
FREEDOM AND FOOTBALL
RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT 2012
As an active volunteer of the Ron Paul campaign, Lake saw no reason to not combine a little community service with the pre-game festivities. ESPN officials deemed otherwise. As he approached the Gameday scene, famous for the backdrop of rowdy fans sporting signs of all varieties, he saw no reason that his behavior was inappropriate. Shockingly, ESPN officials confiscated his sign, citing that no political statements were allowed in the Gameday area. They told him that his only option to gain entry was to alter his sign, removing the political references. He was finally allowed to enter the event after eliminating the “Ron Paul for President 2012” from the sign. White suggests that he was targeted by ESPN for political reasons. Other signs were allowed entry that he considered to be more provocative than his own.
A full interview with Brad Lake will be posted here at Common Sense Conspiracy this week with a full account of this blatant attempt at censorship on part of ESPN. Keep in mind that ESPN’s GameDay is held on public property where normally students or anyone else, for that matter, could do anything they wanted, within the law. So what do you think? Does ESPN have the right to censor people congregating on public property? Even if their sign has nothing that would constitute an FCC violation, such as profanity or indecency? You be the judge.