Freedom is a powerful word. To some, it means the sacrifices made by those who came before them. For others, it’s the symbol that gives their lives a reason to soar. So when famed bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger made comments that seemed to attack freedom, many in the fitness community were none too happy. Arnold Schwarzenegger follows up and further addresses the backlash from his recent comments.
In an interview with CNN some weeks back, Arnold Schwarzenegger said “screw your freedom” in regards to those who refused to wear masks. While he may have meant the comments in a very specific way, many took the words as attacking the idea of freedom. It caused many athletes like Brian Shaw and Calum von Moger to take down posters of Arnold in their gyms.
The Legend Addresses His Comments
Well, it seems that the legendary bodybuilder is finally ready to open up more and further address the comments. In his most recent newsletter, Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote in detail about the comments he made in the interview and unpacked his words.
“That’s fine! They have the right to choose clickbait instead of informing their audience,” wrote Arnold. “If they listened to the whole quote, they would have realized that I am talking about all of the whiny babies that I see going viral on the internet who think that being asked to put on a mask is a perfect reason to throw a toddler fit in a grocery store and look like an absolute child”.
“These are people who yell “FREEDOM” in their American flag hats while not taking any time to study the history of our nation and how freedom and duty have ALWAYS gone hand in hand. They think being an American means not caring about their fellow Americans, and I’m sorry, I can’t accept that.”
Addressing The Fallout
Calum von Moger and Brian Shaw weren’t the only ones who were upset with Arnold’s words. Aaron Singerman of REDCON1 had issues with the comments and removed his sponsorship from the Arnold Sports Festival. Arnold Schwarzenegger also addressed this in his newsletter.
“With all of this going on, it was a wild week! One of my favorite strongmen I’ve ever worked with took my poster off of his gym wall, then a bodybuilder who played me in a movie copied that move, which wasn’t very creative. We lost a sponsor of the Arnold Sports Festival, we added new sponsors immediately”.
“When the worst thing that happens to me this month is some people yelling at me, then losing a sponsor for the Arnold Sports Festival, that’s when you realize how lucky we are to live in this country”.
“In fact, if nothing else, this whole episode has made me say, ‘I love this fucking country.’ Because you know what? All of these people have the right to complain, and they won’t be sent off to prison. And I have the right to say what I believe. That’s beautiful.”
The Media Agenda
Arnold also addressed media and news outlets that aren’t doing their due diligence to inform the people with unbiased information.
“A lot of our news sources, whether it’s social media or mainstream news, and whether it is left or right, prefer that you’re emotional instead of informed.”
Arnold went on to address how many people are choosing their feelings over the facts.
“We are constantly choosing our feelings over learning and being open-minded to other ideas. We haven’t been able to come together around very simple steps that can help prevent the spread of this disease. That makes me worry about how we would respond to an even bigger challenge. We have to stop making everything political, or we will be in big trouble when the next crisis strikes us. We have to be able to come together.”
Are Your Freedoms Really Under Attack?
Lastly, Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed the idea of wearing a mask as being an infringement on freedom. The legend simply isn’t buying it.
“If you are someone who thinks masks are an infringement on your freedom, can I ask what happens to you when you get caught not wearing a mask? Is it that you are politely asked to put one on? Or is it that you may be asked to leave the business if you refuse? At worst, you might have paid a fine? Was your freedom really taken away? Think with your learning brain, not your emotional brain right now. Even in the worst case, if you paid a fine or got kicked off an airline for refusing to wear a mask, did you lose your freedom?
“No, you didn’t.
“We can see limitations on freedom all around us, because that’s how society works,” wrote Arnold Schwarzenegger. “It is how every society since the beginning of civilization worked, and the United States, with all its flaws, is the pinnacle. We will always have more work to do, but that’s part of what makes us great.”