I mean honestly what the fuck?
In the genteel world of bridge, disputes are usually handled quietly and rarely involve issues of national policy. But in a fight reminiscent of the brouhaha over an anti-Bush statement by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks in 2003, a team of women who represented the United States at the world bridge championships in Shanghai last month is facing sanctions, including a yearlong ban from competition, for a spur-of-the-moment protest.
At issue is a crudely lettered sign, scribbled on the back of a menu, that was held up at an awards dinner and read, “We did not vote for Bush.”
By e-mail, angry bridge players have accused the women of “treason” and “sedition.”
“This isn’t a free-speech issue,” said Jan Martel, president of the United States Bridge Federation, the nonprofit group that selects teams for international tournaments. “There isn’t any question that private organizations can control the speech of people who represent them.”
Not so, said Danny Kleinman, a professional bridge player, teacher and columnist. “If the U.S.B.F. wants to impose conditions of membership that involve curtailment of free speech, then it cannot claim to represent our country in international competition,” he said by e-mail.
It only gets more insane. These women make their living playing bridge. They are some of the best in the world, and they’re being threatened with a years’ banishment because they held up a menu that said “We did not vote for Bush”? Seriously.
I’m super pissed off that there’s honestly any discussion of people losing their livelihood because they held up a menu that said how they voted. These are mothers and they held up a sign during a victory celebration. While waving American flags and singing the National Anthem.
And by the way, the French team got the American ideal better than our country:
“By trying to address these issues in a nonviolent, nonthreatening and lighthearted manner,” the French team wrote in by e-mail to the federation’s board and others, “you were doing only what women of the world have always tried to do when opposing the folly of men who have lost their perspective of reality.”
Anyway, next up is my expose on Pinochle: what do they do with all the low value cards, anyway?