During a House hearing on the work culture of Washington commanders, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had to explain the First Amendment to Jim Jordan.
Video from Jordan:
“But you are responsible for what you say. There are consequences for what you do and say” – Goodell has to explain the First Amendment to Jim Jordan pic.twitter.com/a0YWz7v16m
—Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 22, 2022
Jordan asked, “You made that statement. We, the National Football League, encourage everyone to speak out and demonstrate peacefully. Did you really mean that when you said, Mr. Goodell?
Commissioner Goodell replied, “Yes, I think people are responsible for what they say and what they do. Yes.”
Jordan continued, “When you said you encourage everyone to speak up, did you mean everyone, not just some?”
Goodell again tried to explain the First Amendment to Jordan: “That’s right, Congressman, but you are responsible for what you say. There are consequences for what you do, say and write.
Jordan replied, “Yeah.”
The right to freedom of expression is not unlimited. According to the Supreme Court, there are limits on speech that could disturb the peace or provoke violence. Free speech protections are limited to criticism and opinions about the government. Goodell was right, NFL players have the right to express themselves, but they are responsible for the consequences of their expression.
Roger Goodell is the same guy who did nothing while the league blackballed Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem, and his change of stance on free speech and player expression doesn’t matter. It only happened after the murder of George Floyd, but the NFL commission seems to have a better understanding of the First Amendment than Jim Jordan.
Mr. Easley is the editor. He is also a member of the White House press pool and a congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in political science. His graduate studies focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Political Science Association