Civil rights law-dude Alan Dershowitz explained why the NFL owners are in the driving seat when it comes to protests by the players.
From the Hill:
“If you want to protests racism, then protest racism. But don’t protest the American flag, the national anthem, and the United States of America,” Dershowitz told radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York.
“The players are entitled to kneel if the owners allow them to. But the owners could say no,” he added.
Dershowitz said the players’ rights to free speech and petition are not protected under the First Amendment in relation to their team franchise, a private entity, noting that the rights only stand in relation to the government.
The constitutional law scholar added that there would only be a constitutional issue if the government “put its thumb on the scale,” emphasizing that the NFL team owners are fully within their rights to crack down on the protests.
Here’s audio of his explanation:
That sounds about right. The players are choosing to play NFL and are in a contract with NFL team owners. If the owners say they don’t want them to kneel, the players are choosing to keep a job that restricts their speech. They can easily leave that job and say whatever they want and protest in whatever manner they want.
BUT the big wrench in the system is that NFL owners are too scared of how politically incorrect that decision might be. Even if the majority of Americans dislike the protests, shutting them down could mean a loss of those fans that DO approve of them….