IDEAS OF THE HEART reduxhttp://jadpoet.com
Do NFL players have the right to protest perceived social injustice at a football game during the playing of the National Anthem? It’s an interesting question. Is there a “team” or “league” rule that prohibits such conduct? It doesn’t appear so. I guess the owners can fire someone if they want to; then it becomes an internal matter, and the NFL Players Union gets involved and law suits get filed. What does the US Constitution say about it? Is it a matter of free speech? Conduct, i.e., kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem, is considered an expression of free speech under the US constitution. As long as your conduct doesn’t involve harm to another human being it’s protected under the 1st amendment of the Bill of Rights to the US constitution. So it appears players do have a right to protest during the playing of the National Anthem. But some if not most people look at the issue emotionally not logically, which includes the legal definition of free speech as defined by the US Supreme Court. Emotions run high on this issue because soldiers have died to protect our freedoms. The irony is: protesting perceived social injustice either verbally or through conduct is an expression of free speech that those soldiers died to protect.