Statement from Easton Artist Shalom Neuman Regarding Freedom of Speech

“Freedom of speech is one of our most fundamental values, especially when it comes to political expression. I exercise this freedom of speech in my art. What the City of Easton is attempting to do is censor me and it can not be allowed to stand. I will continue to exercise my constitutionally protected rights and will fight for the right of others artists to do the same.”

-Shalom Neuman

#TakeTheKnee, Part II: Why the NFL Teams Must Allow the Protests to Continue

The NFL is subject to a Collective Bargaining Agreement, the most recent version of which went into effect in 2011.  The term of the current CBA is ten years and it will expire in 2021 (the "NFL CBA"). 

In the overwhelming response to my prior writings on the #TakeTheKnee controversy (the first article from 2016 here, and yesterday's post here) one astute commenter asked whether the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement has any impact on the NFL's official stance on player protests in uniform.

In short, a close reading of the NFL CBA shows exactly why the NFL has no choice but to let the players protest, at least within the confines of the 2017-2018 season.  

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Free Speech, The NFL, The President & #TakeTheKnee

It was slightly over a year ago that I wrote about the new (at the time) controversy that was roiling the NFL, which was Colin Kaepernick's decision to take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem prior to the 49ers games.  The purpose of Mr. Kaepernick's actions was to draw attention to police brutality issues among other things.  The media and the talking heads on ESPN in particular seemingly couldn't stop talking about it.  

At the time, from a legal standpoint it was quite simply about the rights of an employee to voice their personal opinion in a very public way while working for a private employer.  The NFL, as you know, is not the US Government, nor is it a state or municipal government for that matter.  The NFL is a private entity, as are the 32 NFL franchises that employ the NFL players.   Because of this fact, there is no civil rights issue, and there is no free speech issue.  It is WELL settled that private employers can dictate employee conduct while the employees are on company time - for instance  when an NFL player is suited up on the field about to being playing a nationally televised game.  

Fast forward one year, and the debate has persisted.  Mr. Kaepernick was released by the San Francisco 49ers and and not been signed by another NFL team despite there being a clear need for starting caliber quarterbacks. 

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A Rock Band Fights for Free Speech at the Supreme Court and Wins; SCOTUS Rules Part of Lanham Act Violates the First Amendment

This is case about a rock band, a dubious and inflammatory stage name, and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).   It's also a matter of free speech, and the concept that speech - including offensive speech - is Constitutionally protected.  There are a lot of hot button issues in this case.  

The rock band?  The Oregon based, self styled "Chinatown dance rock" band The Slants

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