You know, I find it kind of funny when a ‘celebrity’ (I’m talking to you, John Cena), or ANYONE tries to go out there, acting all political , when they know nothing, and I do mean NOTHING about what they’re speaking. Let me break it down for you. Freedom of Speech is NOT applicable anywhere outside of the government as far as the U.S. is concerned, and even IF it were, it only covers your ‘right’ to say what you want, not the resulting, and inevitable consequences. This has been beyond a hot button for me for years, ignorant asses trying to claim ‘I can say what I want and then claim Freedom of Speech’ when I get called on it. Nope. Here’s the facts, kids (and just the facts):
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Someone please tell me where it says in there we can all say what we want and suffer no repercussions from it? Nope, nowhere. It states that CONGRESS (ie: government) shall make no law prohibiting the freedom of speech. Good on them, that’s where it should be, and where it should stay. No law should ever be made that says one can say certain things, must say certain things, or restrict an individual from expressing their personal opinion. This is a wise decision.
According to Wikipedia, ‘Freedom of Speech’ is defined as:
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to indicate not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
But wait, it goes on. You can’t just take what you want here and pretend the rest doesn’t exist:
“The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law.”
So, what does this mean for you, me, John Cena, Alex Riley, and everyone else? Well, simply put, this:
You can say what you want, but you must also be prepared to face the consequences for your speech. NOTHING should be held without accountability whatsoever. In other words:
Let’s say I’m dealing with Client A on certain issues, and that Client A is a major asshole, a pain in the ass, and just has zero clue what they’re doing. If I told them this, would I be right to expect to be fired? Absolutely. Would this be a violation of me ‘Freedom of Speech’? No, because, this is the consequence of me speaking my mind.
Client A is fictional, does not exist now, previously, in the future, or anywhere in my life. I love my clients, and while some of them may frustrate me from time to time, it is not my opinion that they are Client A.
Let’s take, for example, Punk’s ‘episode’ on Raw, at the end of the show. His comments were not covered by ‘Freedom of Speech’, for two reasons
A> He was in a corporate environment, the corporation was paying for his time (including airtime, billed at $1000s per minute), and had every right to shut him off.
B> Much of what he said was easily considered ‘libel’.
Let’s consider another example. In this case, we’ll use an old job of mine, and an old supervisor, whom I have absolutely no respect for whatsoever:
Had I walked into the job one night and said
You’re a stuck up, whiny bitch and I hate your guts
Would I have been right in assuming that I was going to be fired? Absolutely
Would I have been correct? Naah, I didn’t “hate her guts”, I just hated her constant digs at the male sex, and insults to them.
Would I have been covered under any sort of ‘Freedom of Speech’? No, none at all.
In the end, there is no ‘Freedom of Speech’ in the U.S. unless it absolutely, physically relates to the government, and then their powers are limited. As far as your job, your surroundings, you have no ‘Freedom of Speech’ whatsoever. The laws of physics (causality) apply here, specifically cause and affect. The cause is the speech you’re making, the effect will typically be something you don’t want to happen.
In short: Think before you speak (or type something online). You never know what affect that will bring.