September 25, 2017

ABA Legal Fact Check explores key legal issues raised by national anthem controversy

CHICAGO, Sept. 25, 2017 — The American Bar Association updated its new web-based ABA Legal Fact Check today by examining whether government leaders or employers can force individuals to participate, in the customary way, in such national rituals as the national anthem or the pledge of allegiance.

When former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick first knelt last year rather than stand during the national anthem as a protest of the treatment of blacks in the U.S., his conduct set off similar actions by other pro athletes and a national debate. The conversation continued into this year, focusing primarily on whether the decision by NFL teams not to sign the free agent Kaepernick was in retribution for his protest and, if so, was that fair? But President Trump’s decision to comment on the controversy last week and the way he did it, in the lingo of sports, raises the conversation to a whole new ball game while presenting legal issues.

ABA Legal Fact Check debuted last month and is the first fact check website focusing exclusively on legal matters. The project is one of several initiatives launched by Hilarie Bass, who became ABA president on Aug. 15 at the close of the ABA Annual Meeting in New York.

ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the public find dependable answers and explanations to swirling and sometimes confusing legal questions. The URL for the new site is Follow us on twitter @ABAFactCheck.

Click here for a biography of President Bass.

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