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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ozzie Guillen, Tim Tebow, Fidel Castro comments, Yes Freedom of Speech. | Joy Freeman-Coulbary,

I don't read or follow sports stories. But the recent controversies about athletes Ozzie Guillen and Tim Tebow have grabbed my attention because of their connection to our First Amendment rights of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

This column outline very well one of my concerns about the current public discussion of Guillen's offensive-to-some outburst: The First Amendment guarantees that the government can't censor the speech of U.S. citizens. The amendment doesn't apply to employer censorship, though Freeman-Coulbary's column adds an interesting perspective to interpretation of the amendment.

By connecting the Tebow and Guillen stories, Freeman-Coulbary also suggests that our freedom of religion right isn't relevant in the Tebow story. As with the freedom of speech, the First Amendment applies only to government restrictions on practicing religion--not an employer restrictions.

Of course, few people have called on Tebow's employer to censure him for his religious speech, as they have in calling for punishing Guillen for his political speech. A double standard, perhaps?

Freeman-Coulbary concludes:
If Tim Tebow, while wearing a private team’s jersey and mantel, can exude white male, patriarchal and conservative family and religious values—which some may consider marginalizing to women and minorities of all kinds—then why shouldn’t Ozzie Guillen be allowed to express his political views without taking a corporate hit?
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