Tags: Colin Kaepernick | alan dersowitz | nfl | owners | have right | prohibit | kneeling

Dershowitz: Free Speech Only in Relation to Government, Not NFL Franchises

Image: Dershowitz: Free Speech Only in Relation to Government, Not NFL Franchises
Alan Dershowitz (AP)

By    |   Sunday, 22 October 2017 09:04 AM

NFL team owners would be within their rights to ban players’ racial injustice protests during the national anthem, according to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

In an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis aired Sunday on “The Cats Roundtable,” Dershowitz said the players' First Amendment right to free speech and petition only stands in relation to government — not to their team franchise.

"The players are entitled to kneel if the owners allow them to,” he said. “But the owners could say no.”

Dershowitz said the only constitutional issue would be if the government "put its thumb on the scale" — but noted how unpopular the players’ protests have become among the public.

"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 said.

The Hill posted the remarks ahead of the Sunday morning airing.

President Donald Trump has criticized the players who kneel during the national anthem — and Dershowitz said he he thinks former President Barack Obama would have been similarly displeased.

"I don't know that the Obama administration would've handled this any differently," Dershowitz said. "I think President [Barack] Obama would have said he disapproves of kneeling during the national anthem.”

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NFL team owners would be within their rights to ban players' racial injustice protests during the national anthem, according to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.In an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis aired Sunday on "The Cats Roundtable," Dershowitz said the...
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2017-04-22
Sunday, 22 October 2017 09:04 AM
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