The NFL's Unique Federal Exemptions May Afford Players First Amendment Protections

Photo Credit: nevermindtheend, Flickr

Article below by Arthur Rizer and Dennis McGlothin at  A very interesting take on the protests and the first amendment. Despite oft made erroneous claims to the contrary, free speech as enshrined in the first amendment only protects against government infringement on one’s rights.  And even then, there are exceptions to the first amendment such as a prohibition against inciting violence. As such, private companies are not bound by the first amendment and may restrict speech consistent with other laws and protections. This take explores how, despite the NFL being a private entity, an argument may be made that would extend first amendment protections to NFL players. 

Super Bowl LII will take place Sunday when the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will battle to determine who is the greatest football team of 2017. Naturally, this means it’s the perfect time to talk about the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

And of course, one cannot talk about the NFL and the First Amendment without talking about Colin Kaepernick and his crusade against police violence — and more specifically, whether the NFL or its owners can discipline him or other players who refuse to stand for our national anthem.

Read the rest at