“They have a right to protest” is the new Leftist narrative. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee “took a knee for the First Amendment.” Who’s denying that people have a right to protest? Who’s against Free Speech? (Actually, liberals are, but that’s a different story for another time.) Everyone has a right to protest, but not on someone else’s dime or time. If I hire someone and that person protests about some pet social or political concern at a seminar our company is sponsoring, I have every right to fire that person. He or she can protest on their own time and dime but not on mine.
If a person doesn’t understand this basic constitutional principle, he or she is not qualified to hold public office.
If the NFL has a policy about protesting on the field (and I believe it does), and a player violates that policy, it’s not a First Amendment issue.
The First Amendment was added to the Constitution to protect the states and the people (Ninth and Tenth Amendments) from the government. It was designed to stop the government from criminalizing religion, speech, press, and assembly:
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 the Government for a redress of grievances.
That first word is important: “Congress…” The NFL is not Congress. If the NFL and NBA want to allow athletes to protest during a game, they have a right to offer them that right, and the fans who don’t want to watch a protest have a right to boo them, turn their backs on them, not to attend the games, or refuse to watch them on television. Advertisers also have a right not to advertise.