NFL

Ruthless Lawyer Guy drops some knowledge on the day “Stick to Sports!” died

This may come as a surprise to many of you, but a filter-less, burned out reality TV star is currently the president of the United States. Wild, right? While his election came as an absolute bummer to many, many people, it also came as an unprecedented victory to many others.

Many of the victorious half used to reside in my Twitter mentions on a regular basis. They were the spell-check-less, the dog-avatar-having, the literally-dozens-of-followers-boasting masses. This has truly been a revelation for the Twitter Egg.

Back then, I used to talk about sports, and other things. They used to shout at me about removing the other things from my repertoire. Anyone that likes sports and endeavors to talk about them on the Internet hears it in their deepest, darkest night terrors: “STICK TO SPORTS. WE DON’T FOLLOW YOU FOR POLITICS.” As if my existence on this website is completely premised on your loyal attention.

WELL. On this, September 23, 2017, the trope is officially dead. Put a fork in it, like a well-done steak. Our beleaguered leader of the free world has officially given sports journalists an unlimited hall pass to no longer stick to sports. After today, it is not possible to separate the sports from the other, more divisive topics in our society.

And look, I get it. That’s rough. We watch sports to escape! My original Twitter bio proclaimed that “I stick my head in the sand with sports.” That was true for me until it no longer could be – until I had grown enough in my intellectual curiosity to explore other topics, and invest my interest in topics beyond my favorite team’s win-loss record.

So I understand, wholeheartedly, the impulse to bristle when the real world collides with sports. And I recognize, albeit disagreeably, with your own opinions about the issues that Colin Kaepernick, or Michael Bennett, or Megan Rapinoe seek to illuminate with their protests. I respect your right to have those opinions, to express them.

It is the continued effort toward censorship with which the dude does not abide, because the United States Constitution does not abide either. I’m inclined to roll with that, the Constitution. Surely you, dog-avatar-haver, roll with the Constitution as well. The right to bear arms and what not, amirite?

You see, the First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition to Government for a redress of grievances.”

That second clause is what we’re concerned with for the purposes of this particular column. But more importantly, we’re concerned with the rationale behind including the First Amendment to begin with.

The Supreme Court has struggled for decades to discern the exact intention and bounds of the First Amendment. Specifically, they have been faced with controversies over what forms of expression are outside of the bounds of protection?

One form of expression that has never faced doubt is what the Court calls “Core Political Speech.” This is speech or conduct specifically addressing social or political issues. The Court has, time and again, labeled it as absolutely essential to our society. In order for a state or federal government to pass a law restricting “Core Political Speech,” that law must survive “strict scrutiny” by showing that it was narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest.

That’s a lot of legal mumbo jumbo that roughly translates to: speech on social issues is really goddamn important, and as such, extremely difficult to restrict.

But why? Well, a democracy needs a healthy debate, so that the voting public can make an informed decision. One of the most widely accepted rationales for the importance of political speech is the “marketplace of ideas” concept. It stands for the proposition that, if there is freedom of unrestricted public discourse, truth will eventually emerge from the competition that ensues. Our democracy will be better for it.

For example, Colin Kaepernick can argue that police officers subject minorities to abuse and disparate treatment. You can vehemently disagree. The people in the marketplace can consume both of your arguments, and decide which one they find more convincing. The assumption is that truth will prevail. On that point, I dunno.

So, what’s the point, Ruthless? Well, I figured that, seeing as it’s fairly relevant at the moment, more people should really understand the First Amendment. But also, it’s important to recognize that we are all currently existing in this marketplace of ideas!

Kaepernick has the right to kneel during the National Anthem. Stephen Curry has the right to say that he doesn’t want to go to the White House. The president has the right to say that protesting players should be fired. I have the right to pen this column. You have the right to jump in the comments sections and call me a hack. The First Amendment protects all of those expressions.

So, go forth, and tell the protestors that they are disrespectful! Maybe you’ll convince them and they’ll stop! It is absolutely your right to do that. Just know that when you do, they have the right completely ignore you and continue to protest. Because the Constitution ensures their right as well.

5 Comments

Leave a Reply

5 Comments on "Ruthless Lawyer Guy drops some knowledge on the day “Stick to Sports!” died"

Notify of
avatar
  
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Audio and Video Files
 
 
 
Other File Types
 
 
 
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Sports Girl Liz
Member
Member

Well said! Glad to see you’re back Ruthless!

Sven
Guest
Member
Sven

That is the essence of democracy: Everybody has a right to express their opinions peacefully as long as they don’t take that right away from others, and in the end voting results should prevail, however with respect to the minority as well

John Sports
Guest
Member
John Sports

Great read, very eloquently written as usual.

John
Guest
Member
John

Sorry Chief. You lose your First Amendment right the second you show up to work. The government might not be allowed to restrict your speech, but your employer certainly can.
The problem most people have is the hypocrisy of the NFL. They can censor players from celebrating TDs; they can tell players when they can wear pink to celebrate breast cancer awareness; they can proscribe a player from wearing 9/11 memorials. Their rules about what players are supposed to do during the National Anthem are perfectly clear – they are just afraid to enforce them

Alice
Guest
Member
Alice
The NFL is a business and if you have employees in your business that hurt your revenues by their actions, the employee can be fired. It’s obvious the brand has been hurt and soon enough the owners, and the sponsors will say enough is enough. Smart people would not hurt their income stream, but instead do things in such a way as to enhance their value. You take that money, and the fame, and you start a foundation for social justice. You work closely with the police, 98% of them who are great, and other important community members, and you… Read more »
wpDiscuz
What is Bay Area Sports Guy?

It is the top independent sports site covering the teams that play in the best sports region in the United States. BASG is not an ordinary fan blog. It is a place where sports news is broken and analyzed by writers with access who are not afraid to question the status quo, writers who also produce original content in the form of videos, photographs and podcasts.

Questions/Comments? Email basg@bayareasportsguy.com
Fill out my online form.

Copyright © 2017 - Bay Area Sports Guy. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Terms of Use and BASG Shop Terms

To Top