Ah, but that is a copyright issue, and that, as far as I can see is *not* the topic of debate here. The kernel developers should obviously be concerned with clarifying and keeping clear the distinct copyright of the firmware (which moving into a separate directory, or tarball, may help). I think most everyone can agree on that. The issue really being discussed is that these binary firmware blobs represent non-free "taint" of the system/hardware in use, not the kernel itself. Hence, being "baited" into using "proprietary" hardware, even if the kernel drivers themselves are free.
It doesn't fly, at least not the part about accusing the Linux developers of complicity in "baiting" us into using non-free firmware. It would be similar to faulting Linux for allowing me to run a user-space binary that isn't "free". Should the kernel developers now be chastised for "baiting" us into using things like Matlab or Photoshop? Ridiculous, and FSFLA should be ashamed for framing their argument in such accusatory terms.