“Not everybody is given the opportunity to have a voice, and I can take a small moment, a respectful moment of protest, and exercise my First Amendment rights, and stand up for my students and for vulnerable adults and for people who are not treated in the way that they should be.”
Two years ago, Tommia Dean sued the university arguing that state and university officials conspired together to prevent cheerleaders from protesting at future games. In a settlement reached this fall, the Georgia Department of Administrative Services agreed to pay her $135,000.
In The First Amendment in the Trump Era, Timothy Zick catalogs and analyzes the various First Amendment conflicts that have occurred during the Trump presidency. It places these conflicts in historical context–as part of our current digitized and polarized era but also as part of a broader narrative concerning attacks on free speech and press. We must understand what is familiar in terms of the First Amendment concerns of the present era, but also what is distinctive about these concerns.
Over the weekend, President Trump took aim at players who have more explicitly over the past year taken to kneeling, sitting or raising a fist during the playing of the National Anthem in order to bring awareness to racism and police brutality. In response to the President's tweets, NFL players in games across the country responded by kneeling or sitting out the national anthem. Debate bubbled over on social media over whether this was a fireable offense or freedom of expression.