Expression of diverse points of view is of the highest importance, not solely for those who present and defend some view but for those who would hear, disagree, and pass judgment on those views. The belief that an opinion is pernicious, false, and in any other way despicable, detestable, offensive or “just plain wrong” cannot be grounds for its suppression.
The University supports free speech with vigor, including the right of presenters to offer opinion, the right of the audience to hear what is presented, and the right of protesters to engage with speakers in order to challenge ideas, so long as the protest does not disrupt or stifle the free exchange of ideas.
But apparently that doesn’t apply if you are a Duck football player:
PASADENA, Calif. — Several Oregon players are facing team discipline after celebrating their win in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual by apparently mocking Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and allegations of sexual assault that have followed the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner the past two years.
Video taken from the field as Oregon celebrated its 59-20 win in the College Football Playoff semifinal showed multiple players chanting, “No means no,” to the tune of the “Warchant” used by Florida State fans.
“We are aware of the inappropriate behavior in the postgame,” coach Mark Helfrich said in a statement released by Oregon on Thursday night. “This is not what our program stands for, and the student-athletes will be disciplined internally.”
This summer UO tried to discipline a student for yelling “I hit it first” out a dorm room window. (Yeah, I had to google that too.) The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education sent UO a stern warning letter about the first amendment, and UO Director of Student Conduct Sandy Weintraub quickly backed down. Post with links to RG stories here.
But this is the NCAA. The coaches *own* those players.