Ever since this whole “players kneeling during the National Anthem” imbroglio started sending the NFL’s popularity ratings into sudden death, defenders on the left have argued that if owners told them to stand up and show respect, it would violate their First Amendment free speech rights. In response, many of us have patiently explained that it has nothing to do with the First Amendment. That protects you from government censorship on your own time, it doesn’t give you the right to inflict your opinions on customers at work and ruin your employer’s business.

Granted, I’m not a legal expert, but all you really need to do to understand the difference is to read 10 words of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” Notice it protects you from Congress making laws, not from your boss telling you to get up on your feet or you’re fired.

Still, some people continue to make hair-splitting arguments to try to turn this into a First Amendment issue. Finally, one of the ultimate experts on Constitutional law has weighed in: Harvard law Professor Alan Dershowitz appeared on a New York radio station to confirm that this is an employer-employee issue, not a free speech issue. But being the expert he is, he took it even further, to explain why the people who want to invoke the First Amendment should be careful what they wish for.


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For instance: the First Amendment protects all speech, good or bad. So if players have a First Amendment right to do whatever they want during the National Anthem, nothing could stop dissenters from putting on a KKK robe. It wouldn’t be a very wise idea when you’re surrounded by very large African-American men who are out to tackle you, but you could do it.

Likewise, he noted that those who accuse President Trump of violating the law by saying he thinks NFL tax breaks should be revoked would also have to admit that Trump has a First Amendment right to express his opinion -- and that’s all it is, since he doesn’t have the power to change tax laws.

No wonder leftists are always coming up with lists of people that the First Amendment doesn't apply to. When everyone has the right to speak freely, they actually have to defend their beliefs! That's a job I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

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Comments 1-5 of 16

  • Joan Sterling

    10/31/2017 02:22 PM

    Excellent comments. I am disgusted by these football player's ,coach's and owner's ignorance.

  • Kay Pruitt

    10/26/2017 11:57 AM

    Your explanation is clear and succinct. Why is it that people are not hearing and not understanding? I guess people will always hear what they want to hear, but it is very sad for the people who understand. I am surprised that some of these owners don't just stand up and test the law. Fire one or two players and let them sue. Can this First Amendment charge really stand up in court? Unfortunately I am thinking of the federal judges who are blocking the President. Maybe it can. Someone should have the courage to stand up and try it, though. If all the owners stood together, they would have a very loud voice. For once, maybe, money should do the talking.

  • ChRlene irish

    10/25/2017 06:55 PM

    You would have made a great president. Your words are wise and I appreciate reading your blog each day. Thanks!!

  • Glenda Daniel

    10/25/2017 06:35 PM

    Move them from the 'playing' field where they make millions and place them on the 'battle' field where they would receive military pay. Let them take a knee there. It would likely be in prayer.

  • Pam Lambert

    10/25/2017 03:37 PM

    My understanding is that the football players are kneeling because they are protesting unfair police actions against black people. Well guess what? All other Americans are against wrong behavior like that too! If there is a wrong, then yes it needs to be made right. There are mostly great policeman in America but there are probably some bad ones out there. Most of the police are doing their very best trying to protect innocent people from the real criminals and helping the victims of crime.
    But kneeling against the American flag and the country? No! What COWARDS these football players are. They are excellent atheletes with unbelievable opportunities and in the national spotlight. They perhaps need to be deployed overseas and do the work of our soldiers for a few years and be paid what they make. They need to dodge a few bullets and bombs. Then they would have earned the right to stand for our country, or not. We live in a great country and our freedom isn't free. The hard working BRAVE men and women that fought for our country, past and present, made us what we are today.
    Here's another idea....These cowardly kneeling football players are also hurting countless others financially and maybe should be made to pay resitution for causing this loss. For Instance:
    1. Think of all the companies (and all the people that work at these companies) that in good faith bought tv advertising that are being hurt (because millions of people are not watching the game now).
    2. The stores that bought jerseys, turvis and yeti cups, flags, and other fan items from factories (and workers in these factories) that no one wants now.
    3. All of the fans that are now ashamed of the teams they supported. Think of the fans not attending the games so there's no need to park cars, rent cars, buy the food/drink, etc at the game. The loss to the food companies and the restaurants. The airline tickets not bought and the gas not sold to get to the games and the hotels not stayed in because the fans didn't go to the game.
    4. And of course the owners and the employees of the teams.
    This list could go on and on.
    We are all Americans... we are not perfect, but we are all trying to get better. There is always room for improvement. So everyone needs to stick together and Stand Up, put their hand across their heart, and sing the national anthem. God Bless America!