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We're Seeing Freedom of Speech on the Gridiron So How About in Every Other Workplace?

Why don't Americans demand that the 1st Amendment apply on the job too?

The truth is, when the country was founded, there were no real factories in the new independent United States of America. It was a largely agrarian society of farmers and small businesspeople who might have a couple of employees at most. In that kind of environment, there was little difference between the home and the place of work. It's likely that people in such settings had plenty to say on the issues of the day while they were working. It's also likely that people who had a job and did it well were valuable enough to the employer that even if they said things that the boss didn't agree with they wouldn't be summarily fired for speaking up. That kind of thing is much more likely to happen in huge companies where individual workers are just replaceable cogs.

The founders who wrote the Constitution and its Bill of Rights wouldn't have imagined that eventually there would be huge workplaces with hundreds or even thousands of workers, gates and security guards and ID cards to control access to the site, and files kept of each employee's behavior.

It is this new work environment, created during the 19th century, that led to a bifurcated world -- one largely free and more or less unmonitored, where people could do and say pretty much what they pleased without fear of punishment or harassment, and another, set up much like an old feudal estate, where the "lord" or boss and his or her minions could order the peons around, punish them at will with no right of appeal for made-up infractions or "insubordination," and control what they could say or even think, on pain of being tossed out the door.

Things have gotten worse with our new information age, so that once a worker is fired by one boss, it can be hard to get a job anywhere, since one's employment record becomes available to all.

It's time to grab this new opening made by professional athletes of conscience, and to start a national campaign to extend the First Amendment to the shop floor, not just the athletic field.

While we're at it, let's demand that Kaepernick get hired again as a QB. After all, he started this ball rolling.



story | by Dr. Radut