Outspoken: Social Media and the Modern College Athlete

43 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2014

Date Written: 2013


The First Amendment to the United States Constitution grants American citizens the right to free speech. However, in the case of college athletes, this right is not without limitation. In exchange for the privilege of participating in college level athletics, college athletes voluntarily agree to terms that restrict their abilities to speak freely, specifically in the context of social media platforms. This article details situations in which college athletes have made offensive statements via social media for which they later needed to delete, explain, and apologize. These examples support the notion that restrictions on college athletes’ speech are not only constitutionally sound, but also necessary in light of the challenges universities and colleges may face if their athletes’ rights to free speech are not restricted.

Keywords: first amendment, constitutional caw, athletics, free speech, sports law, social media

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Penrose, Meg Mary Margaret, Outspoken: Social Media and the Modern College Athlete (2013). 12 John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law 509 (2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2446122

Meg Mary Margaret Penrose (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University School of Law ( email )

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
United States

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