I don’t know, friends. I think the key problem we’re facing these days is that many people feel that the U.S. Constitution should be an employee handbook. If it’s in the Constitution, then people can do it on the football field, at work, at school, etc. That’s not what our Constitution is for.
When I was in 6th grade, Sr. Ann at St. Jude School in Green Bay told me that I had to be quiet during class, so I was (well, if I wasn’t, I got in trouble for it). My employer, St. Norbert College, will not allow me to carry a firearm while at work, so I don’t. Companies, schools, leagues, etc are allowed to have rules. They don’t have to guarantee us our Constitutional rights. Just think about the rules where your kids go to school. Think about the rules for where you work, especially those of you who served in the military.
When someone says, “well, they’re just exercising their Constitutional rights”, that’s a red flag to me that they don’t understand the purpose of the Constitution. And what bugs me most about what’s going on in the NFL is that owners are making this claim, but I’m confident that they would not be okay if a player just walked up to the coach on the sideline during the 4th quarter and exercised their right to free speech. Or what if players started carrying firearms on the sideline? I just don’t think those things would be okay. And therefore, saying “they can do it because it’s Constitutional” just isn’t a valid reason.
At Lambeau Field, before every national anthem, Bill Jartz, the public address announcer, says, “to honor America, please stand, remove your hats, and join…” Someone one day told him to say that. Or maybe he made it up. But at some point, there was a decision to ask people to stand and remove their hats. And it was done for a reason. Whatever that reason, it’s the same reason that we should still do it today.
UPDATE: Sep 25, 2017
I had seen a tweet about this, but I just found the source
The key quote from this article is, “No man or woman should ever have to choose a job that forces them to surrender their rights.” There’s the problem. People actually believe this!
I can’t think of a single job where this should be true. If I’m an actor in a movie, I can’t just tell the writer, “I think I’ll just say whatever I want in this scene, it’s my right.” If I’m a greeter at Walmart, I can’t just burn the American flag right there in the doorway. If I’m an agent at an insurance company, I can’t just tell the customer, “well maybe you’re just too ugly to be driving a car.” Even unpaid volunteers have to follow the rules. If I’m a lector in church, I can’t just stop in the middle of the first reading and switch to Dr. Suess. Companies, churches, sports leagues, etc. are allowed to have rules against stuff like this.
Your right is that you don’t have to work there. That’s the right guaranteed by the Constitution. The employer says, “these are our rules, and if you agree, we’d like you to work here.” It’s very disingenuous if you take the job, sign the contract, collect the pay, and then complain about the rules.