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Monday, April 16, 2012

Striking out with free speech | Andrew Johnson, mndaily.com - The Minnesota Daily

I have almost no interest in pro-and college sports. But the current discussion about baseball manager Ozzie Guillen and his free-speech rights has caught my attention and disturbed me. This article deals with the issue in some clear, useful ways. Johnson writes:
Free speech is a two-way street, in that while the first person can express whatever sentiments he or she would like, anyone else can react to it however they would like — it’s up to both of them. That’s why comparing the outcry to Guillen to the repression of free speech in Cuba is wildly faulty; under Castro, there was only one authorized way of self-expression.
But, in addition, U.S. citizens, business owners and politicians need to understand that our First Amendment free-speech rights apply only to censorship and control of speech (and press) by the government. Congress (and other federal, state and local branches of government) are restricted by the First Amendment from inhibiting speech or telling people what they can say.

But private organizations, like baseball teams, have a right to restrict the speech rights of their employees, at least as far as the speech involves the business of the employer and employee.
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