"As a free agent, it can do what it wants."
Invariably when you get into a tricky situation like the Susan G. Komen v. Planned Parenthood debacle last week, some really "smart" person will point out that the Susan G. Komen foundation is a "free agent," and "free agents" can do what they want.
I just want to know who out there is so stupid that they don't already understand that.
There is no need to talk down to people. I understand that Tyson and KFC and other chicken companies are "free agents," and they can stuff 20 chickens into a cage and throw chicks into dumpsters if they want. I also understand that I am a free agent (thanks for the heads up, political commentator, but I've understood that concept since the first grade) and I can choose to only buy free range meat if I want.
So when people yammer on about how Susan G. Komen is a "free agent," and other "free agents" can choose to support or not support them, I seriously have to wonder if that person just needed to fill airtime or column space.
Everyone understands that.
There is no one who does not understand that.
Can we please get a Universal Taboo Buzzer we can press whenever someone starts down the tired old "they're a free agent" line of thought? OBJECTION, SILLY ARGUMENT.
In fact, because everyone understands that so acutely, and because of the power of social media, Susan G. Komen did a 170 (it wasn't quite a 180, I think we can all agree) on Friday and restored breast cancer screening funds to Planned Parenthood. Because breast cancer is still awful, even when a group that uses 3% of its time and resources to perform abortions is the group helping underprivileged women avoid it.
Because it's a free agent, and free agents can choose to fund breast cancer screenings (while giving their top executives $400,000 annual salaries) or not. And free agents can choose to provide contraceptives, and advice on infertility, and STD screenings, and abortions, and referrals for mammograms (all in the same building!) if they want.
And free agents can choose to donate, or not, to the aforementioned groups.
Churches are free agents.
Companies are free agents.
Individuals are free agents.
Sports teams are free agents, and very often come courting other free agents.
Basically everyone is a free agent except a government entity.
So from now on, whether we're talking about a theater banning a movie, or a chain restaurant supporting a political cause we disagree with, STOP POINTING OUT THAT IT'S A FREE AGENT. Because no one is sitting around thinking, "You know, here I am, all this time thinking I had personal control over PETA/the Catholic Church/The New York Times/the San Francisco 49ers--you mean to tell me that I don't? What a world!"