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Do First Amendment rights exist in sports?

The Chicago Tribune Company sold the Baltimore Sun along with other papers and properties to former Chicago White Sox minority partner Sam Zell who apparently overpaid for the properties and could not afford to maintain the newspaper at 2002 worker levels. The Sun is a shell of a newspaper these days. The Cubs franchise along with Wrigley Field also was jettisoned.

There is limited free speech in sports. People like NBA Commissioner David Stern and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gagged NBA and NFL owners and threatened them with fines for talking about the lockouts. Goodell fined Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams for giving the finger to someone as he sat in his owner’s box watching his Titans play. Major League Baseball commissioners have put up gag orders on the owners during labor talks.

Sports fans and constitutional experts on radio, TV and message boards should take note.

Evan Weiner, the winner of the United States Sports Academy's 2010 Ronald Reagan Media Award, is an author, radio-TV commentator and speaker on "The Politics of Sports Business." His book, "The Business and Politics of Sports, Second Edition" is available at bickley.com, Barnes and Noble or Amazon Kindle.

ALSO BY EVAN WEINER

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Discarded NFL players continue the fight for health insurance

What do the GOP candidates think of Title IX?

L.A. Vikings news is good for Zygi Wilf in Minnesota

New York Islanders still have a shot at a new arena

NFL and NFLPA’s labor woes may not be over yet

Is the United Football League done?

NFL is back and so is the business of football

Baseball Hall of Fame is incomplete without Curt Flood and Marvin Miller

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp scandal could mean trouble for U.S. sports partners

Deron Williams revives NBA players' interest in Europe

A sports FAQ guide to NFL and NBA lockouts

2011 NBA lockout can trace its roots back to 1983

Handouts to NFL owners have been an absolute failure

How the NHL and sports accidentally stumbled into globalization

Rant by LeBron James speaks volumes about the real world of sports

Belmont Stakes Odds: Final leg of Triple Crown will depend on slot machines

Rio and Sochi Olympic Games are about to drive up your cable TV bill

Bad owners like Time Warner ruin sports

Will the NBA become a 'fly over' league?

NFL lockout, failure of Atlanta Thrashers, and other sports struggles can be blamed on Ronald Reagan

Former New York Jets great Marty Lyons says retired players need health benefits now



 
Comments (2)
2 Friday, 07 October 2011 11:26
Ga_gal
Putting aside the ridiculous attempt to make this about free speech, you might want to research a little more. The Braves are owned by Liberty Media, not AOL Time Warner. And AOL is no longer part of Time Warner as of two years ago. You might want to consider a refresher course in journalism, if in fact you did graduate from college.
1 Thursday, 06 October 2011 13:53
RachelC
It really gets my goat when people try to bring in the 'Constitution' and "Free Speech' into arenas where they do not apply. And it doesn't apply here, not at all.

Free speech, as all Constitutional rights, apply to all citizens of this country. In public, you can say whatever you want, and you will not be prosecuted. That's what it means.

So "free speech" or the right to "bare arms" and so on do NOT apply to organizations, be they public or private. Were any of the people in this article prosecuted by a government agency for what they said? No? Then they, in fact, Spoke Freely, as protected by our Bill of Rights.

Constitutional rights means that you won't be prosecuted or jailed for speaking your mind, it does not in any way mean you won't be fired, asked to leave private property, or otherwise penalized by a private organization or individual.

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