Thursday, September 26, 2013

What's Good for the Fortson is Good for the Guth

The debate over David Guth's tweet and Kansas' reaction swings quickly to the First Amendment.  A passionate defense of Guth's right in today's Chroncle.

I wonder if we see a growing trend of acceptance of/tolerance for bad behavior in the social world.

Take Courtney Fortson's case.  The former Razorback point guard made the following tweet:

He was punished for violating team rules (perhaps other issues weighed in beyond the tweet) and missed a large number of games -- publicly for his bad tweet.  For those unfamiliar, some of Fortson's teammates were accused of a sexual assault, thus the significance of the "drunk girl" reference.

This was 2009.  And he still makes SI's top 20 and another digital publication's top 15 for worst all-time athlete tweets.

Here in 2013, Guth made this tweet:

If we believe that Fortson -- as a university representative -- is held to a higher standard, does Guth not have the same responsibility?  Or have both men been cruelly wronged?

I believe this to be a First Amendment issue.

As in, rights of association, the extension the courts have made of the right of assembly.  A group can choose who it will or will not associate with.  Does Guth or Fortson's individual ability to say whatever they want in whatever format they choose trump the right of the assembly to remove them from the group for their speech they find offensive?


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