Category Archives: 1st Amendment

Social Media Bans For College Athletes

Some colleges tend to bring in a lot of revenue due to their great college sport teams, but that also means they have a reputation to uphold. Universities across the country are obtaining a good reputation by banning their athletes from using their social media not only during their sports season but the duration of the school year.

 “Well, we have some dumb, immature players that put crap on their Twitter, and we don’t need that. So the best thing to do is just ban it . . . .” Steve Spurrier, the head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks football team said.

Some of the universities that participated in a similar ban include: The Mississippi State University men’s basketball team, the New Mexico State University men’s basketball team, The University of Georgia men’s basketball program, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, the Boise State University Broncos, the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, and the University of Kansas Jayhawks.

So, are social media bans for athletes THAT bad? The way I see it, they are protecting these students and their potential careers in the world of sports or other career ventures. I do believe banning social media outside of their sports season is a bit much. However, if their dream is to play sports, restricting their social media can help their social media presence appeal to recruiters.  

Can Social Media Threaten Our First Amendment Rights?

Back in March of 2020, a high school student was threatened with jail time if she did not take down a social media post. Not only was she threatened with jail time so were her parents, over a post on Instagram. This post consisted of her in a hospital bed, explaining how she was sick with COVID. As a student, she thought it was her right to be able to use her social media accounts to express her frustrations, or to update everyone on how she was doing.

“The girl’s messages caused panic,” said an attorney for the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department. The panic eventually led to a Marquette County Sheriff Joseph Konrath and a patrol sergeant confronting the teenager about her post and demanding her to take it down.

However, the teenage girl recently just won the lawsuit against the sheriff and the patrol sergeant.

“Demanding a 16-year-old remove protected speech from her Instagram account is a First Amendment violation,” said the judge.

We live in a time where we must protect even our online presence. This teenage girl thought she was bringing awareness on how real this COVID pandemic is and was faced with a harsh reality. The right to free speech should always be protected when it comes to one’s social media presence.

Flag Day

The month of June is Gay Pride month across the globe.  There is gay pride because we need it in order to shed light on the LGBTQ community.  We have gay pride to feel like we are not alone.  We hope to feel safer being ourselves and find the help to stop hiding out of fear for our lives.  Many people ask why do we need a gay pride parade?   I ask, why do you suppose you do not need a straight pride parade?  Because being straight is generally the norm.  That is a big problem when being free from judgement and not allowing persecution of the innocent should be the norm.

What’s the difference between gay and straight?

The real big difference between the LGBTQ community and the heterosexual community is the one story that many LGBTQ share and that is the story of coming out.  Spending any time in your life in the closet is stressful, depressing, and sad.  People and places are avoided.  Relationships are lost or sadly never begin.  Because many have been hiding the truth in fear of persecution and violent hate crimes.

Why be scared and hide?

People are discriminated against to the point of suffering emotional and physical harm and very sadly, death, because of how they have been misunderstood and mistreated by society.  Gay pride helps to prove that the ones who are truly scared are not the LGBTQ community but the heterosexual community.  So scared and unwilling to understand and accept that they lash out to the point of mass murder.  I blame society for not teaching all people to be loving and accepting of the innocent, no matter how different you may think you must be.  Because you really are not as different as you think.  But, as long as there are still innocent people hiding in the closet you will remain blind to this reality.  Because in reality they are our heroes, doctors, politicians, rich, poor, teachers, artists, students, neighbors, friends, family, Black, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Native American, White, Asian, and Latino.  The LGBTQ is everyone.  We are the American community and we are the global community.  We don’t need to prove that we are different from anybody by having Gay Pride but prove to be accepting and loving of each other for all to see and out of the closet.

A photo posted by Elise Pedersen (@moped79) on Jun 28, 2015 at 5:03pm PDT

The problem in society is hate.  It is guns.  It is terrorism. It is violence!

Today is flag day and all flags are at half mass.  The tragedy that is Orlando, is also America.  It is society.  It is human.  All of our choices affect others in one way or another and our actions are not matching up with our values.  We have been seeing the world through a veiled screen controlled by corporate media and economic greed.  Our thoughts are filled with images and scenes that goes against our very core but is accepted by society and permissible through some legal avenue or another.  Like gun regulations, guns are allowed but they are entirely out of control.


Flag

Freedom of Speech: Becoming Free Again?

Recently there’s been a debate on whether or not America has “too much” censorship going on – be in on TV or Radio, on the internet, or (God forbid) on public streets. Perhaps this may be taking a turn for the better with the Supreme Court ruling that off-the-cuff cursing or nudity is not something that the FCC can fine for. Hooray, freedom!

But wait. If you live in a certain Massachusetts town, you can actually be fined $20 for swearing in public. Sounds like a really old law, but it’s been changed so they can actually fine someone for it. Boo, censorship.

What is this country coming to? Since when is it against the law for me to say a certain word, or speak my mind about something I care deeply about? Why can’t I, in a country formed around freedom, actually be free to do what I want? Will it hurt anyone else if I smoke in my car? What if I don’t wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle?

The United States has something called the Bill of Rights, which lets us do certain things (one of which is to speak freely). I think we’re slowly sinking into a hole where we’ll find ourselves not able to dig out. Soon, I won’t be able to say “fluffycat tubesock” without getting a slap on the wrist. Is the quote pointless? Absolutely. However, if I want to say it, I think I’m entitled to.