October 24, 2017

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 1-16 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!

  • Firewagon

    10/25/2017 02:45 PM

    This entire debacle is another sad commentary on where America stands in the world in education - lower even than the first dozen industrialized countries. As determined by several brainiacs in the medical community, the male brain is not fully "functional" until around the age of 26. The majority of these "First Amendment Kneelers" are far younger than that, only slightly past the age of having their diapers changed regularly!

  • James F DeGregoria

    10/25/2017 01:49 PM

    I was reared at the foot of Ft McHenry and realize what the flag stands for. Every time I see a US Flag waving I give it due respect and silently salute it with a prayer of Thanksgiving! My parents , uncles, and grandparents served in WW I & WWII, Korea and I did 5 tours in Vietnam and believe we never failed to stand at a ball game or public display with our National Anthem playing. I'll go to my grave with a flag over my casket and a 21 Gun Salute and probably salute from inside the coffin!


    10/25/2017 10:40 AM

    PT Barnum's famous quip, you can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time but you can't please all of the people all of the time surely applies to the NFL kneelers which in my humble opinion is a feeble attempt at a mockery of the United States. There will always be some sort of injustice in the world because this is a fallen world. I have read that Kapernick is a muslim and may also have marxist ideas as well, his influence on the NFL players shows how naive and uninformed the NFL players are about what the ideas he is spreading.

  • yolanda Cappas-Kidwell

    10/25/2017 08:40 AM

    Thank You Sir for standing up for the truth and exposing it into the light. I commend you for what you are doing and many are blinded by satan and can't see the truth. May God open their eyes and they see the light. A Nation cannot stand if it is divided and of course we know satan has come to steal, kill and destroy. We can win this battle against evil by praying without ceasing and covering our President and Vice President with prayer.
    God bless you.

  • tom jeffs

    10/25/2017 08:34 AM

    cut the spin on both sides; the NFL kneelers are disrespecting the PAYING CUSTOMERS in the stadium. if I'm watching on television I can turn the channel but AFTER paying for tickets and going to the stadium I have no choice when they kneel. ALL of us Americans have 1st Amendment rights but MY RIGHTS END WHERE YOURS BEGIN !!!!!!! and kneelers rights end where mine begin !!!!!!!

  • Carma Rudoy

    10/24/2017 03:43 PM

    "When everyone has the right to speak freely, they actually have to defend their beliefs!" The best condemnation I've read in a long time. I'll use it, thank you! Interesting that the Libs M.O. is projecting their "sins" onto others; Hillary's "What Happened" and her statements about the new Russia investigation are perfect examples of her life-long use of condemnation by projection. She's ruined plenty of lives along the way with this trick.

  • kevin springs

    10/24/2017 02:31 PM

    The trouble is the ones, and they are mostly on the left want to make this a first amendment issue have never read the first amendment and if they have don't understand what they are reading.

  • Allen Rathbone

    10/24/2017 12:46 PM

    I've said it all along: we are guaranteed freedom of speech, not freedom from the consequences of what we say.

  • t

    10/24/2017 12:39 PM

    You and Professor Dershowitz speak the truth, which I believe can still be freely done! Unfortunately, this entire NFL mess shows the depth of ignorance in the general population about government and civics, underscores the apparent fact that NFL players were given a pass in College for such substantive courses, and highlights the obvious fact that much of the national media were also. Maybe the most "good" to come from all of this is to take it as one more point of focus on the massive failures of our educational systems over the past 40-50 years. Sanity in politics is not likley to improve much, if at all, until it first begins to return to secondary and college level education. A tough assignment I admit, but there are many of us who would tackle the task if given the opportunity.

  • Joann Lord

    10/24/2017 12:17 PM

    The NFL is going to suffer for their stupidity.

  • Howard L. Spielberg

    10/24/2017 11:43 AM

    Dear Governor Huckabee
    Thank you so much for your news letters.
    I have been voting for 60 years and you are the only one I have ever contributed to in a National election.
    The power of our corrupt national need was demonstrated both times you ran for the presidency.
    Keep up the good work.