Friday in the fall means high school football! So tonight we know that hundreds of players will take to the gridiron and battle it out. In many stadiums, the pre-game hullabaloo reaches a crescendo as the band strikes up the fight song and the hyped up players crash through a paper banner held by the cheerleaders. This year, those banners might contain some interesting messages.
The Texas Supreme Court decided not to hear the case involving the Kountze ISD cheerleaders and their overtly religious banners. This has the effect of affirming the decision of the Court of Appeals, which was that the words expressed on the banners were the words of the cheerleaders in their private capacity. Thus the words on the banner were protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. The fact that the cheerleaders were wearing school uniforms and serving as the official representatives of the school was not deemed to be relevant. It’s free speech. So if the banner espouses overtly Christian viewpoints, that’s OK.
So kids wearing uniforms bearing the name of the school, representing the school in athletic competition are free to express their personal points of view at the moment when thousands of eyes are upon them. Question, readers: can anyone come up with a logical distinction between the cheerleader and the football player? Between the words of the banner and the symbolic gesture of taking a knee during the National Anthem?
Good luck at your game tonight.
DAWG BONE: WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE PUBLIC REACTION WHEN THE BANNER PROCLAIMS “ALLAH BE PRAISED!”