If you were to walk into work today, take all your clothes off, put your feet up on your desk, and flip off your boss, would you still have a job?
The answer, of course, is “Not for long”.
But…wouldn’t you be exercising YOUR right to Free Speech and Self-Expression, just like the NFL Players who are taking a knee during our country’s National Anthem?
By now, some of you are saying, “But, I work for a private organization”.
SO DO THEY.
TheWrap.com reports that
It doesn’t look like any NFL players will be disciplined for kneeling or locking arms in protest during the playing of the National Anthem. But First Amendment experts say most employees can be fired from many jobs for exercising their freedom of speech.
Federal law does not protect workers in the private sector — only government employees.
“There is no federal law protecting against discrimination or retaliation for political activity” at private companies, Paula Brantner, a senior adviser at Workplace Fairness, told TheWrap. “A lot of people think they have First Amendment rights, but those only apply to government employees.”
The power of employers to dismiss workers was demonstrated in August when Google fired one of its engineers, James Damore, for circulating a memo lashing out at the Silicon Valley giant’s efforts to bring more women into the male-dominated company.
In Berkeley, the Top Dog hot dog chain parted ways with one of its cooks, Cole White, when sleuths on Twitter said he had taken part in the white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia. (He denied he is a white nationalist, and Top Dog said he had resigned, not been fired.)
Californians like Damore and White have some protections many other Americans don’t because California law forbids employers from firing workers for off-duty partisan political activity if it is legal. Colorado, Connecticut, Montana, New York, North Dakota, and Washington, D.C. have also enacted some speech protections for workers, but those protections are not absolute.
American workers in the private sector who work in states without those laws have no protection for political speech, University of Dayton law professor Jeannette Cox wrote in a recent American Bar Association article.
But government employees are in a different position, Harvard Law professor Mark Tushnet told TheWrap. He said that under the First Amendment, government workers who speak about public policy can’t be fired unless their speech interferes with their jobs — by provoking fights, for example.
“Typically, though, governments aren’t able to make that showing,” he said.
The nation’s 22 million government workers got a boost last year when the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment forbids government bosses from firing workers for supporting a political candidate the boss doesn’t like.
“The Constitution prohibits a government employer from discharging or demoting an employee because the employee supports a particular political candidate,” Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote in the decision.
NFL owners, perhaps fearful of a public-relations backlash, have not obeyed President Trump’s Sept. 22 call on them to fire any “son of a bitch” who kneels during the National Anthem. Trump was referring to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other players who started kneeling during the National Anthem last year to protest racism and police brutality.
But NFL owners have broad freedom to fire players perceived to violate the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. According to the policy, posted on the NFL website, “prohibited conduct” includes “conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity of the NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL personnel.”
Discipline can include a fine, suspension or banishment from the league with an opportunity to reapply, the policy states.
In addition to the policy, players may be required to sign contracts with a “morals clause,” which gives team owners another potential justification for firing them if they say or do anything that might potentially make the team look bad.
According to a new Fox News Poll…
Fifty-five percent of voters in the latest Fox News poll see kneeling during the national anthem as an inappropriate form of protest. That’s down six percentage points from 61 percent who felt that way a year ago (September 2016).
Those most likely to disapprove of the kneeling include majorities of men (60 percent), independents (62 percent), whites (63 percent), veterans (65 percent), Republicans (86 percent), and Trump voters (90 percent).
Overall, 41 percent consider kneeling an appropriate way to protest, up from 32 percent a year ago. The increase comes largely from a jump of 21 points among blacks, 17 points among Democrats, and 16 points among women.
Let’s look at this whole meshuggah mess from a business viewpoint.
Let’s say you are the head of a corporation which provides a product to the American Public. One dark and gloomy day, your VP of Revenue Management walks into your office, sits down, and proceeds to inform you that your company’s revenue is down 11% from last year. And, let’s say that your corporation is so big that 11% of your revenue equals $200 million Dollars.
Would that not get your attention?
So, you get your Management Staff together for a meeting to discuss this very important matter.
It turns out that a study was undertaken last year and a flaw in the product that you are presenting was shown to be unpopular with the majority of Americans.
As the CEO of that company, would you not have removed that flaw in order to increase, or at least preserve, your revenue and stop a major headache before it starts?
Well, the CEO of this fictional corporation did not, and now, that little flaw has turned into a major defect in his product, which if ignored and allowed to continue, will forever stain his product, dry up his revenue stream, and drive a permanent wedge between his corporation, his Board of Investors, and the American Consumer.
It doesn’t make any business sense at all, does it?
Of course, the corporation in this case is the National Football League. The neglectful CEO is Roger Goodell. The flaw, which has now become a major defect, is the tone-deaf, self-centered, disrespectful NFL Player Protest of taking a knee during the playing of our National Anthem. The Board of Investors are the Advertisers and Merchandisers who have made deals with NFL, based on projected yearly revenue. And, finally, the American Consumer, well, that’s YOU AND ME.
If Goodell and the Team Owners do not come to their senses fast and put a stop to the reprehensible actions of their employees, soon, they will see what happens when a corporation tries to sell their customers a product which they are unwilling to buy.
As Apple is finding out with the iPhone 8, timing and presentation are everything.
By allowing their “disenfranchised” millionaire Football Players to disrespect the symbol of our nation live on millions on televisions around the world, the NFL is “killing the Golden Goose”.
Pretty soon, some of the NFL Players are going to be sorry that they did not take their own tests in college.
Repeat after me, “gentlemen”…
Would you like fries with that?
Until He Comes,