The NFL Kerfuffle

September 25, 2017

It’s frustrating that with so many important issues on the table – North Korea, Obamacare repeal, tax reform, etc. – the weekend news was dominated by highly-paid sports figures showing disrespect to the National Anthem out of pique over President Trump’s comments about how they should be fired.

Before I dig into this, let’s get one point out of the way up front: no, telling players to knock it off or they’re fired would not be a violation of their First Amendment rights. The First Amendment protects you from government reprisals, it doesn’t give you carte blanche to say anything you want when you’re at work, especially when you’re in the company uniform and representing your employer to the public. Paragraph 2 of the standard NFL contract requires the player to “conduct himself on and off the field with appropriate recognition of the fact that the success of professional football depends largely on public respect for and approval of those associated with the game.”


Commentary continues below advertisement


In other words, doing things that anger the fans and make them less likely to support the team is a violation of your contract. You can’t be jailed for saying things that tick off the customers, but you can be fired. That’s true of virtually any job. If Colin Kaepernick’s Fed Ex guy delivered a right-wing political rant with every package, I bet he’d be on the phone demanding that Fed Ex absolutely, positively can him.

And the NFL has already set a precedent of saying no to players who took a knee in prayer, wore T-shirts with Christian slogans on them or tried to put decals on their helmets in support of the police. It appears that in the NFL, freedom of speech only extends toward the left.

If you’d like to get deeper into the question of what would happen if the NFL did fire players for their political grandstanding, Sports Illustrated examined that in depth.

READ MORE

PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW.  I READ THEM!

Comments 1-5 of 37

  • sidney Nelson

    09/28/2017 07:47 AM

    Roger Goodell is unfit to lead. It is his job to protect owners&investments,paid players,fans&staff. You don't stand(or kneel)in the middle of the train tracks when there's a locomotive headed your way,you clear the tracks. When you don't nip it in the bud thorns will take over.He should be fired& uh as for Mr.Jerry Jones the fence straddle,remove him from hall of shame,sorry fame

  • Eric G. Carr

    09/28/2017 01:56 AM

    Unless those dissenters' views don't fit your "political narrative," Mr. Huckabee?

    "As a governor for ten and a half years, I followed the Constitution of my state and of the United States. The rule of law is a foundation of our democracy.

    But the reason why our laws are respected by the American people is because our Constitution guarantees reasonable safeguards to protect the rights of dissenters."

    - Mike Huckabee 9/18/2015

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/09/08/kim-davis-in-jail-why-is-our-government-willing-to-accomodate-all-faiths-except-christianity.html

  • Michelle Harston

    09/27/2017 06:44 AM

    As a veteran, (and proudly one of the last of the WomensArmy Corps) the wife & daughter-in-law of career USAF veterans I am incensed every time our flag and nation are disrespected. How can someone make these fools see that they are hurting the symbol of the land that people died for? The land that gives them the right to protest? I do wish that the “SOB” part of President Trump’s remark was toned down. We have to be better than the other side!

  • Shirley Lyons

    09/27/2017 04:36 AM

    When an organization or a company inject POLITICAL or MORAL BELIEFS into their PRODUCT or SERVICES, they risk alienating half of their customers and if they do not care about those customers, then that lack of respect for THEIR BASE WILL take their money elsewhere! It is a shame that CUSTOMER BASED companies/organizations are driven by money only and NOT REPUTATIONS!

  • Brenda Fitzpatrick

    09/27/2017 01:40 AM

    It seems that any word is acceptable if used against Trump but President Trump is held to another standard. SOB seems to be the appropriate term in this case. I fully agree!

The NFL Kerfuffle

September 25, 2017

It’s frustrating that with so many important issues on the table – North Korea, Obamacare repeal, tax reform, etc. – the weekend news was dominated by highly-paid sports figures showing disrespect to the National Anthem out of pique over President Trump’s comments about how they should be fired.

Before I dig into this, let’s get one point out of the way up front: no, telling players to knock it off or they’re fired would not be a violation of their First Amendment rights. The First Amendment protects you from government reprisals, it doesn’t give you carte blanche to say anything you want when you’re at work, especially when you’re in the company uniform and representing your employer to the public. Paragraph 2 of the standard NFL contract requires the player to “conduct himself on and off the field with appropriate recognition of the fact that the success of professional football depends largely on public respect for and approval of those associated with the game.”


Commentary continues below advertisement


In other words, doing things that anger the fans and make them less likely to support the team is a violation of your contract. You can’t be jailed for saying things that tick off the customers, but you can be fired. That’s true of virtually any job. If Colin Kaepernick’s Fed Ex guy delivered a right-wing political rant with every package, I bet he’d be on the phone demanding that Fed Ex absolutely, positively can him.

And the NFL has already set a precedent of saying no to players who took a knee in prayer, wore T-shirts with Christian slogans on them or tried to put decals on their helmets in support of the police. It appears that in the NFL, freedom of speech only extends toward the left.

If you’d like to get deeper into the question of what would happen if the NFL did fire players for their political grandstanding, Sports Illustrated examined that in depth.

READ MORE

PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW.  I READ THEM!

Comments 1-5 of 37

  • sidney Nelson

    09/28/2017 07:47 AM

    Roger Goodell is unfit to lead. It is his job to protect owners&investments,paid players,fans&staff. You don't stand(or kneel)in the middle of the train tracks when there's a locomotive headed your way,you clear the tracks. When you don't nip it in the bud thorns will take over.He should be fired& uh as for Mr.Jerry Jones the fence straddle,remove him from hall of shame,sorry fame

  • Eric G. Carr

    09/28/2017 01:56 AM

    Unless those dissenters' views don't fit your "political narrative," Mr. Huckabee?

    "As a governor for ten and a half years, I followed the Constitution of my state and of the United States. The rule of law is a foundation of our democracy.

    But the reason why our laws are respected by the American people is because our Constitution guarantees reasonable safeguards to protect the rights of dissenters."

    - Mike Huckabee 9/18/2015

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/09/08/kim-davis-in-jail-why-is-our-government-willing-to-accomodate-all-faiths-except-christianity.html

  • Michelle Harston

    09/27/2017 06:44 AM

    As a veteran, (and proudly one of the last of the WomensArmy Corps) the wife & daughter-in-law of career USAF veterans I am incensed every time our flag and nation are disrespected. How can someone make these fools see that they are hurting the symbol of the land that people died for? The land that gives them the right to protest? I do wish that the “SOB” part of President Trump’s remark was toned down. We have to be better than the other side!

  • Shirley Lyons

    09/27/2017 04:36 AM

    When an organization or a company inject POLITICAL or MORAL BELIEFS into their PRODUCT or SERVICES, they risk alienating half of their customers and if they do not care about those customers, then that lack of respect for THEIR BASE WILL take their money elsewhere! It is a shame that CUSTOMER BASED companies/organizations are driven by money only and NOT REPUTATIONS!

  • Brenda Fitzpatrick

    09/27/2017 01:40 AM

    It seems that any word is acceptable if used against Trump but President Trump is held to another standard. SOB seems to be the appropriate term in this case. I fully agree!