Standing to Kneel: Analyzing NFL Players' Freedom to Protest During the Playing of the U.S. National Anthem
15 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2018 Last revised: 26 Mar 2018
Date Written: February 1, 2018
This Article analyzes whether an NFL player who protests during the national anthem has any legal recourse if he is fired—or not hired—as a result of his political protests. Part I of this Article describes the history of NFL players engaging in political protests during the national anthem. Part II explores whether the firing of an NFL player for his political protests would violate the player’s constitutional right to free speech. Finally, Part III discusses whether the firing—or not hiring—of an NFL player for his political protests would violate the player’s rights under the terms of the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
Keywords: NFL, protests, national anthem, Constitutional law, First Amendment, Freedom of speech, collective bargaining agreement, CBA, Colin Kaepernick, Donald Trump, political protests, sports law, police brutality, sports governance, sports business, collusion, player protests
JEL Classification: Z2, Z21, Z22, Z20, Z28, M14, L88, L83, L5, K4, K31, K20, K1, J7, J58, J53, J51, J48, J41, J00, A13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation