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Shazam May 30th, 2018 12:24am

This week, NFL brass voted to prevent players from kneeling during the anthem and ABC brass fired Roseanne for a truly racist tweet. Should 1A rights extend beyond the government in protecting speech prohibitions?

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RussianThunder Russia and USA
05/30/18 12:33 pm

Employers can set standards. I’m sure Roseanne signed a contract and ABC had the right to terminate. The NFL teams are governed by the NFL and players are employed by individual teams. They, like Roseanne, are simply employees.

They can kneel, they can spout racist tweets and they won’t be thrown in jail but there may still be consequences from their employers, just not from the government.

This isn’t a case like Tommy Robinson in the UK. These are private employers.

RussianThunder Russia and USA
05/30/18 12:46 pm

In the UK and EU, Roseanne, Bill Maher, Joy Behar, Pamela Gellar, Keith Obermann....many others, could be charged with hate speech and thrown in jail. That doesn’t happen here.

commonsense America isnt racist
05/30/18 8:22 am

No. People are often required to wear uniforms, speak a certain way or be in a specific area of the store. Talk kindly, say certain words, etc. the nfl is no different.

Freedom of speech does not nor has it ever applied to the private sector.

FLAmerican Pensacola
05/30/18 5:14 am

You don't have a right to employment. There are several industries and employers. It's not a monopoly situation.

Shazam Scaramouche, OH
05/30/18 5:31 am

Oligopoly is probably more accurate, but the implication is the same. The film industry is the example I used. In that industry, 6 studios control about 85% of films produced and nearly 100% with international distribution. Collusion among the heads of those 6 films has ended many careers - for decades, not just recently. Firms colluding to engage in price setting is illegal for good reason. In spirit, I see little difference here.

Oh, and the right to work would be an interesting discussion actually.

rons Thanks America
05/30/18 5:03 am

My job made up the rules. I obeyed the rules and kept my job. You’re free to say what you want but it may cost you.

otto Olean, NY
05/30/18 1:25 am


1A is explicitly to protect our speech from government entities who would make it illegal to speak against it. It never was, nor should it be, meant to apply to a private employer or place of business.

That said, Disney has every right and, in their opinion, obligation to stockholders to fire Roseanne. The hypocrisy lies with Disney for NOT treating Jemele Hill the same way.

evoecon nearest binary system
05/29/18 8:32 pm

How many of us can be expelled from SOH for violation of the contract regarding our comments?

Is Shazam up to facing off with Tony and SOH gods?

FLAmerican Pensacola
05/29/18 5:43 pm

Absolutely not. The freedom of speech is a protection from a tyrannical government, not to protect people from private contracts and unfriendly speech.

Shazam Scaramouche, OH
05/29/18 8:11 pm

In practice I agree with you. I'd point out though that depending on your career and role, the decisions of the leadership of one firm can have every bit as large a detrimental affect as the government, and definitely larger than that possible by the gov in 1776. The argument that we live in a Corporatocracy is not without merit, and the suggestion that this requires guaranteed protections against a tyrannical firm follows.

FLAmerican Pensacola
05/29/18 8:14 pm

I disagree, because in doing so it violates the right to property, free-association, and contract. Do I agree with how some people are censored for their opinion? No. But will I call for legislation that prohibits those firms from doing so? No.

Shazam Scaramouche, OH
05/29/18 8:29 pm

Not calling for it either. However, when one man, (let's call him Harvey) can coordinate with his peers to prevent a professional from applying their trade, that is power to on par with a tyrannical gov. The BOR is entirely written to protect the individual from the minority in society elected by the majority to represent their collective interests. It seems that once a significant power shift occurs from the minority in leadership of the country to the minority in leadership of firms, the spirit of the BOR is lessened. Not saying we need new amendments, but when the 3 rights you listed approach a similar inefficiency found in monopolies, the appropriateness of protecting those rights should similarily be explored.

FLAmerican Pensacola
05/29/18 9:02 pm

People are free to negotiate protections in their contract or go somewhere else.

Shazam Scaramouche, OH
05/29/18 9:15 pm

In most cases yes. However, in some cases that isn't viable. Take Ashley Judd. Good actress, Oscar nominated, box office successful. Revulsion Weinstein, and her career basically ended. Not just bc Weinstein Co refused to hire her, but bc every other studio head followed suit in "blackballing" her. Same can be said for Colin Kaepernick.

It's why I compared to a monopoly. In an efficient employment model (economic), we would have S, D, and equilibrium. In these instances, we have an inefficiency driven by a small group controlling the means of production (I think).

rons Thanks America
05/30/18 5:06 am

Just consider how Facebook and Twitter selectively control free speech.

PhxLibertarian Phoenix
05/29/18 5:35 pm

Yes, censorship should be fought, but an employer can assign you tasks during work hours. Standing for the anthem can be one of those actions just as requiring a specific greeting for guests can be. However all NFL employees should be free to speak out on any issue on their personal time.

Shazam Scaramouche, OH
05/29/18 5:39 pm

Should constitutional protection exist to do so?

PhxLibertarian Phoenix
05/29/18 5:50 pm

Not all laws are based on the constitution. In many states labor law states this in one way or another.

Some time ago here in AZ there was a wrongful termination suit for someone fired for having a gun in their car. The courts said that to be fired for something in your personal vehicle it mist be "otherwise illeagl". So you can fire someone with drugs in their car but not porn.

That is how I think your private time should be viewed. If you rob a bank I should be able to fire you but I shouldn't be allowed to fire you for having a Clinton 2016 bumper sticker.

This is a question of where do we draw the line, not if there should be a line. I think we all agree you shouldn't be fired for what candidate you publicly support, even an unpopular one. How is an unpopular idea different?

Shazam Scaramouche, OH
05/29/18 7:23 pm

I don't know about AZ, but Ohio and most states are "at will" states. This means you can quit at any time for any reason, and can be let go for at anytime for any reason. Could be a bumper sticker, a FB post, or wearing white shoes after labor day, or just bc it's Tuesday.

Personally, I disagree with at will, but it's currently the law in most places.

PhxLibertarian Phoenix
05/29/18 7:58 pm

Shaz, that is not exactly what at will means. As is an at will state but you can't let someone go for *any* reason. This is a common misconception. AZ is also at will, but I can not terminate someone for reasons that are discriminatory (like a gun in their personal vehicle). Or think of it this way, I can't get rid of all the black people in my department just because I am a racist (hypothetically). There are actually a lot of restrictions on terminations in at will states. During a round of layoffs I had to get our lawyers to help me to ensure I didn't run afoul of the law. I didn't get to just pick the worst performers.

Shazam Scaramouche, OH
05/29/18 8:19 pm

Yes, protections do exist for some classes - age, and vets are 2 few think about. There are state laws dealing with labor that limit at will that vary by state. Ohio has relatively few. I can literally fire any of my direct reports for any reason as long as the reason can be shown not to be because of a protected EEOC stipulation. I absolutely could for someone in Ohio for having a firearm in their vehicle for example. I wouldn't even be questioned if I did so.

PhxLibertarian Phoenix
05/29/18 8:26 pm

I can't speak intelligently about Ohio, but I have held senior positions in AZ, CA, CO and NM. AZ, CO and CA, have more stringent restrictions. I never had cause to learn the rules in New mexico.

Shazam Scaramouche, OH
05/29/18 8:34 pm

New phone, so I can't figure out how to share a link, but google: "The employment-at-will doctrine: three major exceptions" from labor bureau.

Praetorianus Fair enough.
05/29/18 5:34 pm

The freedom of speech amendment was created to protect the free press and individuals from being gagged by a tyrannical government, especially when criticizing that government.
It's (afaik) not designed to guarantee every form of expression within the context of business and private relations is protected without any repercussions, such as getting disciplined or fired.