There was a story on the news of a man that worked at restaurant that was fired because he was one of those marching and supporting white supremacists in Virginia. The man was exercising his constitutional right to free speech. As he and many others have found out, that right to free speech doesn’t prevent them from suffering the potential consequences of that free speech.
A lot of people don’t understand what “free speech” means. They think it means that you can say anything you want and not get in trouble. We all know you can’t say “anything” you want. You can’t yell fire in a movie theater or public place that causes a situation where people get hurt because of it. You can’t talk about a bomb at an airport without being detained. Free speech generally means that the government can’t prosecute you for it. It doesn’t mean you can’t get fired from your job over it. It doesn’t mean there are not repercussions and consequences for that. If it is controversial, then there it is more likely that it could adversely affect them.
NFL player Colin Kaepernick and his supporters are unhappy that the NFL owners haven’t offered him a job. They don’t feel that because he exercised his right to free speech that he should lose his job. They don’t think there should be a consequences for that. They don’t think an employer should be able to fire or not hire someone because of that. Yet these same people would be in favor of the man losing his job for being racist. The right to freedom of speech, doesn’t have an asterisk, *unless that speech is hateful or hurtful.
Now you may be thinking, you can’t compare the two situations. The first guy is a hateful racist and Kaepernick is standing up for what he believes in and opposing racism. That is true but the Constitution allows for both. Free speech applies to everyone. White supremacists, BLM and women in vagina hats. It doesn’t protect you from the consequences of exercising your free speech rights. You could lose your job, community support and more. Standing up for what you believe in can and does have consequences, whether your reasons are noble or racist, as Colin Kaepernick and others have found out.