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Ask a Librarian: What do I do with these old books?

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13 liquor boxes full of books
When you work with libraries, people ask you a lot of questions about what to do with old books, presumably books they don’t want. Here are ten tips that are good to know about donating books in general.

  1. Just because books are old doesn’t make them valuable (you can check values here). Librarians intrinsically know this but many other people don’t.
  2. Just because someone had a massive research collection of books/papers on a topic doesn’t mean that a library could benefit from that but maybe they could. It’s always AOK to find a library–almost always an academic or special library–that specializes in whatever the topic is, and ask if they want them.
  3. Most library booksales are run by friends groups and not the library (learn more about friends groups here)
  4. Donating to a library usually means books will go into the book sale (or possibly even be recycled) and almost never means they will go on the shelf. Do not donate books to a library unless you are clear on this and okay with this.
  5. At libraries with really active booksales, books with higher value may get sold online, not at the local sale. The benefit to donating to the library is that the money goes to the library (or the Friends of the Library and ultimately the library) If you have fancy signed first editions, you might be better off selling them yourself on eBay and donating that money to the library.
  6. There is standard stuff most libraries don’t want including textbooks, old reference books, Readers Digest condensed books and anything damp, moldy or in bad shape. Many libraries have more information on their websites about what they specifically want and don’t want.
  7. It’s always a great idea to call/email to make sure the library is accepting donations and ask when a good time is to come by.
  8. Libraries are non-profit so you can often get a tax deduction for your donation but you may need to ask for a receipt.
  9. Pack up your books in durable boxes that are liftable by the average 50-70 year old person.
  10. Do not presume the library will have a hand cart, but you can usually presume they will have an accessible entrance.

Sometimes you have books or other readable stuff that just won’t make the cut to be in the library booksale. It happens. There are many other things that can be done with old books including book art (maybe you have a book artist near you), donation or recycling, or maybe even fire starters (let me know if you need a note saying this is okay). I just donated about 300 books to my local library for their booksale. I contacted them on facebook and they gave me a good time to come by. They had a hand truck but no one available to help move books. I got a receipt for my donation. They told me where to park to minimize the distance I had to carry the books. It went really well. Got some extra books laying around? Consider donating them to the public library!

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annacreech
79 days ago
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Richmond, VA
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3 public comments
mareino
97 days ago
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Also: in 99% of America, there is no need for you to build a little "lending library" birdhouse thing and stick it in your front yard. Your impulse to share knowledge is good, but you are just creating a weak imitation of a professionally run public service.
Washington, District of Columbia
sirshannon
98 days ago
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I have quite a few books on my shelves that I bought used on Amazon, sold by Goodwill and libraries (or both).
darastar
99 days ago
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SHARING IS CARING.

Libraries may not put your old books on the shelf, but the money they raise with them will get put to good use!

How to Transform Your Slideshow’s Bullet Points into Images

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A few weeks ago, I showed you how to transform allllllllll of your presentation’s information into just a few main chunks. You can visually chunk information by creating divider slides and by using consistent colors and icons:

The previous post focused on divider slides. This post focuses on body slides. In particular, I’ll provide a few examples of how you can transform a list of bullet points into visuals.

 

Bad

While I was creating content for the Facilitate an Interpretation Meeting section of a recent presentation, I wanted to include a few frequently asked questions.

Here’s what my first draft looked like. While drafting, I was just trying to get the main ideas down. Bullet points are fine for drafts but not for final products.

 

Better

At the very least, we can apply bold text to make key phrases stand out.

And even better, we can storyboard the slides so that one bullet points appears at a time as you click through your slides. Your goal is for your slides to match your speaking points.

You can achieve the storyboarding appearance with your slideshow’s built-in animation features. Just use the least distracting option, like Appear, rather than having bullet points fly in and do cartwheels across the screen.

Or, you can achieve the storyboarding appearance by creating separate slides for each bullet point. This is my personal preference. I give a lot of webinars, and some webinar platforms (like ReadyTalk, among others) will wipe out animations entirely when you upload your slides into the system.

The bare minimum is to apply bold text and make one bullet point appear at a time. But I’m not suggesting you keep the bullet points at all. There’s nothing worse than watching a presentation full of bullet points! Bullet points say I cared so little about you that I made these slides on the airplane last night.

 

Best

Your best bet is to break up the five bullet points altogether and give each bullet point its own slide(s).

The first bullet point was “Facilitate a conversation (don’t deliver a speech).” I devoted two slides to this concept, one of a microphone (representing a formal speech) and one of a casual meeting (representing the desired tone of the meetings that I was teaching my attendees about).

My speaking points would go something like this: “When you’re running these interpretation meetings, don’t deliver a speech. You’re not standing at a podium behind a fancy microphone. You’re not going to say, ‘Hey, welcome to the presentation. I already analyzed the data and want to share the key findings with you. I’ll take questions at the end.’ That’s too formal.”

Then, I would click to the next slide, and say, “Instead, you’re going to facilitate a conversation. You’re going to welcome everyone to the meeting and say, ‘I started analyzing the data, but I need your input. I need you to help me make sense of the numbers. Let’s talk about the data together.’ You’re going to ask open-ended questions and keep the meeting casual and conversational.”

I would spend approximately 20 seconds on each of these slides. The slideshow is informative yet fast-paced.

The second bullet point was “How many people? 5-10 attendees.” I devoted two more slides to this concept, one of a small two-person conversation and one of a larger room with lots of chairs.

My speaking points would go something like this: “How many people should attend the interpretation meeting? Two people is too few. You need more voices in the room.”

Then, I would click to the next slide, and say, “But on the other hand, this would be too many people. I suggest having 5 to 10 people at your meeting.”

I would spend approximately 10 seconds on each of these slides.

The third bullet point was “Who should attend? Staff at every level.” I selected a screenshot of an organizational chart, and added super-fancy text boxes and arrows to drive home the point that multiple voices and perspectives should be included.

The fourth bullet point was “How long? 1.5 – 3 hours.” Again, I got super fancy here, and selected a picture of a clock.

The final bullet point was “How often? After each data collection event.” Yet another super fancy approach: a picture of a calendar. Don’t think too hard. Even the simplest, most straightforward photographs will be more engaging and memorable than a bullet point.

 

I transformed a single slide into seven slides. My speaking points would be identical in both cases. My pace would be identical in both cases. I’m not talking any faster just because I have more slides. I don’t have to rush. Only the visuals would change. Adding more slides doesn’t make my presentation any longer. But adding more slides makes my presentation infinitely more engaging.

There are a million places to find good photos, but my favorite is Pexels.

 

Bonus: Download the Materials

Want to explore how I made the slides? Download my slides for free. I’m using custom colors and fonts, so when you open the file on your own computer, the colors and fonts will look a little different than mine.


Download the Slides ($0)

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annacreech
123 days ago
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Really well articulated and illustrated examples of how to do better presentation slides with a list of topics in bullet points.
Richmond, VA
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Peer Review

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Your manuscript "Don't Pay $25 to Access Any of the Articles in this Journal: A Review of Preprint Repositories and Author Willingness to Email PDF Copies for Free" has also been rejected, but nice try.
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annacreech
136 days ago
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Richmond, VA
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4 public comments
kellyu
134 days ago
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I need to find the black power salute emoji.
Zaphod717
135 days ago
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Relevant to my interests...
The Belly of the Beast
alt_text_bot
139 days ago
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Your manuscript "Don't Pay $25 to Access Any of the Articles in this Journal: A Review of Preprint Repositories and Author Willingness to Email PDF Copies for Free" has also been rejected, but nice try.
alt_text_at_your_service
139 days ago
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Your manuscript "Don't Pay $25 to Access Any of the Articles in this Journal: A Review of Preprint Repositories and Author Willingness to Email PDF Copies for Free" has also been rejected, but nice try.

The Importance of Pride Month in MLB

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June is Pride Month in the United States. By way of explanation:

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

You can read more about the Stonewall riots here for greater context. Essentially, though, Pride Month is a time not just to celebrate gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people in the United States, but also to highlight the current state of LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. For our purposes, it also represents an opportune moment to examine the current state of LGBTQ+ issues in baseball.

A couple of years ago, Gallup found that 4.1% of Americans overall, and 7.3% of millennials, identify as LGBT, although the demographer who published that data suspects that, after accounting for those respondents who are unwilling to disclose details regarding their sexuality, the overall figure is probably closer to 10%.

Britni de la Cretaz, who’s written a number of fascinating stories on the intersection of sport, gender, and sexuality, wrote an article last month exploring queer women in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, a facet ignored by A League of Their Own. And two major leaguers have come out as gay: Glenn Burke and Billy Bean.

But in another sense, baseball generally, and MLB specifically, has a lot of work to do when it comes to LGBT inclusion. Both Burke and Bean came out after their playing days were over. David Denson, the first openly gay player in affiliated ball to come out while still playing, has since retired. And while Denson said his retirement wasn’t related to his coming-out – and that his teammates were largely supportive – he nevertheless related to Bleacher Report some cringeworthy tales from his time in baseball clubhouses.

He was with the Brewers’ rookie-level team in Helena, Montana, last July, just another game day in another minor league town. When the rain swept in following batting practice and the team retreated into the clubhouse, the players did what players have been doing during rain delays since the invention of the tarp. They started teasing each other. In Denson walked and one of his teammates ribbed him, calling him a maricon. The word is a Spanish slang term for f—-t.

With Denson’s retirement, there are now no openly LGBT players anywhere in affiliated baseball. Given there are more than 3,500 affiliated players at any given time, we’d expect, using Gallup’s 4.1% figure, to find at least 140 LGBT players in affiliated baseball. And while it’s certainly possible that there are fewer LGBT people playing baseball than in the general population, the idea that there are none at all beggars belief. It is, of course, entirely possible that it’s not homophobia or transphobia at work here; after all, as Dan Avery wrote for NewNowNext, baseball presents obstacles unique to professional sports.

“The obvious reason is no one has had the courage to do it,” OutSports’ Cyd Zeigler tells NewNowNext. “One of the things that makes baseball unique is the minor league system. People are brought up and put back all the time. In baseball, your position is always less secure than other pro sports.”

To their credit, MLB has taken some steps to protect LGBT players. USA Baseball’s Amateur Resource Center includes information on LGBT inclusion, and MLB’s CBA actually contains language in Article XV, Section A, barring discrimination on, among other things, sexual orientation (though gender identity isn’t, regrettable, mentioned). And Attachment 50 to the CBA and MLB’s Code of Conduct both prohibit “bullying” or “[d]emeaning comments about someone’s race, gender, color, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation, including offensive names or phrases, or jokes about someone’s conformity with gender norms.” That language would seem to protect both gay and transgender baseball players, at least in part – so long as it’s enforced. MLB has made strides in that area, most notably suspending Yunel Escobar three games for a homophobic slur in his eye black.

But former Cardinals farmhand Tyler Dunnington, who is gay but was closeted while playing professionally, tells a far darker story of professional baseball’s attitudes towards LGBT people. Said Dunnington to Outsports’ Cyd Zeigler:

I was also one of the unfortunate closeted gay athletes who experienced years of homophobia in the sport I loved. I was able to take most of it with a grain of salt but towards the end of my career I could tell it was affecting my relationships with people, my performance, and my overall happiness.

I experienced both coaches and players make remarks on killing gay people during my time in baseball, and each comment felt like a knife to my heart. I was miserable in a sport that used to give me life, and ultimately I decided I needed to hang up my cleats for my own sanity.

At least publicly, there’s also been backlash against players like Daniel Murphy, who said of MLB’s Inclusion Ambassador, Billy Bean, that “I disagree with his lifestyle… I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual.” Sexual orientation and gender identity, it should be noted, are experienced as immutable characteristics of a person’s identity (and not mere lifestyle choices). Murphy’s comments, to be fair, do contain some level of nuance. “Just because I disagree with the lifestyle,” said the Nationals second baseman, “doesn’t mean I’m just never going to speak to Billy Bean every time he walks through the door. That’s not love. That’s not love at all.”

Baseball’s struggles with LGBT inclusion also aren’t limited to players. In honor of Pride Month, 23 teams are holding a Pride Night at their respective ballparks in 2018. Of the 30 MLB teams, two have still never held a Pride Night – the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels. The Yankees have evidently not yet held a Pride Night because they “sh[y] away from promotions with an ethnic or cultural flavor.” David Kilmnick, head of the LGBT Network, told the New York Times that although he pitched the Yankees on both a Pride Night and LGBT sensitivity training for employees, the team rejected those proposals. “I haven’t received any interest,” he told the Times. But when minor-league teams like the Lehigh Valley IronPigs have begun holding pride nights, the sustained holdout of the Yankees and Angels is increasingly conspicuous.

As MLB looks to find itself in this new millennium, the talk of pitch clocks and banning shifts might be overstated relative to broader demographic issues. MLB can retain its place as America’s pastime by ensuring it actually reflects America — which means, in part, including LGBT people. If 1-in-10 Americans is LGBT — and many more than that, presumably, are sympathetic to the experience of LGBT people — then we’re talking about a pretty large swath of the population. Hosting pride nights might, at some level, be a relevant as pursuing pace-of-play initiatives.

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annacreech
176 days ago
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Richmond, VA
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The Impact of the NFL’s Anthem Rule on Baseball

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On Wednesday, one of the top stories across the sports world was the National Football League’s institution of a new policy banning players from kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

From ESPN’s Kevin Seifert and Dan Graziano:

 NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer, it was announced Wednesday.

The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Those teams also will have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.

A couple of notes here: the policy was unanimous among owners who voted; the San Francisco 49ers abstained from the vote. Also, this policy was evidently something of a compromise; the league was previously throwing around ideas like a 15-yard penalty for kneeling.

The previous policy required players to be on the field for the anthem but said only that they “should” stand. When then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling in 2016, the league had no rule it could use to prevent it. The movement drew increasing criticism from President Donald Trump, as well as many fans, who believed it was a sign of disrespect toward the flag and country.

Owners, however, had been divided on how to extricate the league from that criticism. Some owners, including the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones and the Houston Texans’ Bob McNair, wanted all players to stand. Others, such as the New York Jets’ Christopher Johnson, wanted to avoid any appearance of muzzling players.

Even the seemingly simple option of clearing the field prior to the anthem was rejected by some owners who thought it would be interpreted as a mass protest or at least a sign of disrespect.

But it wasn’t a compromise with the union; the NFLPA said it wasn’t even consulted.

So how does this impact Major League Baseball? More than you might think. There’s actually no rule on the national anthem in MLB right now — there’s not even a rule requiring that it be played at all — which makes baseball unique among the major North American sports. Both the NBA and WNBA require players to stand for the anthem. When asked by Seifert, an MLB spokesman said this:

While this is not a league rule, the playing of the national anthems of the United States and Canada remains an important tradition that has great meaning to our fans. The playing of ‘God Bless America’ at designated games is a club choice.

But the absence of a rule doesn’t mean this isn’t an issue. Orioles center fielder Adam Jones had told USA Today last year that he didn’t expect such a protest to occur — and then, two weeks later, A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell knelt during the national anthem before a game last year.

Maxwell’s decision to kneel came after President Donald Trump — speaking on Friday in Huntsville, Ala., where Maxwell grew up — made reference to NFL players not standing for the anthem as employees who, as he put it, should be fired by their teams. Maxwell, an African-American raised in a military family, joins Colin Kaepernick and other athletes in attempting to raise awareness about brutality and injustice at the hands of authorities by kneeling during the anthem.

Maxwell received relatively little pushback, but then, he was also the first MLB player to kneel during the anthem, at least in the 21st century. He also knelt for just two games, and said himself that his anthem protest wouldn’t continue this season.

So clearly the idea of anthem protests — and a policy banning them — is a controversial one, and the incidents which athletes are protesting continue to occur. It’s also one on which the MLBPA has thus far declined comment. If MLB wanted to create a Rule, like the NFL and NBA, requiring players to stand for the national anthem, could it?

Let’s start by examining some of the more popular tweets from Wednesday.

This is a smattering of the prevailing back-and-forth on Twitter, which seems to focus on whether and how this policy impacts players’ First Amendment rights. However…

Before I continue, please note: I am not saying the NFL is correct or incorrect. What I am saying, however, is that just about every non-lawyer in the twitterverse invoking the First Amendment on this issue — on both sides — is absolutely wrong.

Let’s start with the First Amendment:

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.

Note the first word in this amendment: Congress. The First Amendment, on its face, is a restriction on Congress only, and that’s for a reason: Congress makes the laws. (There are also federal regulations, which are also laws — or at least have the force of laws — but they’re also pursuant to Congressional grants of authority and limited by something called the non-delegation doctrine, so really they’re pursuant to Congress’s authority.) So basically all the First Amendment guarantees where freedom of speech is concerned is that the government* cannot pass a law which restricts the content of what you’re saying.

*The States have to follow the First Amendment because of something called incorporation, a full explanation of which would be both tedious and unnecessary. For our purposes, it’s enough to know that the Fourteenth Amendment says that the States have to adhere to the first ten amendments to the Constitution (called the “Bill of Rights“), and that includes that states must follow the First Amendment too.

Yes, that’s right — I said “content.” Because the federal government can restrict the time, place, and manner of that content. Here’s the classic example: you cannot shout “fire!” in a crowded movie theater. It’s also a terrible example, because you legally (under the First Amendment, anyway) can shout “fire” in a crowded movie theater.** That’s because the case that said you couldn’t, Schenck v. United States, was overruled 50 years later in Brandenburg v. Ohio.

**That said, it’s still not advisable to shout “fire!” in a crowded movie theater. You might not get arrested, but you will get kicked out of the theater, and you almost certainly will get sued. 

A time, place, and manner restriction is the sort of thing that requires you to get a permit before a march, or a municipal ordinance saying that you can’t make excessive noise at 2:00 am. The city can’t pass a law saying that Nazis aren’t allowed to march, but it can pass a law saying no one can march on private property, or that no one can march at 2:00 am, or that you can’t march with bullhorns and fire trucks. That’s because, while the government is essentially categorically prohibited from restricting what you say, they can regulate how and when and where you say it, within boundaries.

Now you’re probably wondering why time, place, and manner restrictions matter here. As noted previously, the First Amendment is a restriction on governments, not private corporations. Because the NFL isn’t the government (yet), that would seem to suggest that the NFL is permitted to tell team employees whether they can protest while at work, righ

For another reason, however, that might not be the case.

There’s a wrinkle here and it concerns the location of the protests — specifically, in major-league sports stadiums, almost all of which are built with government money. Many of those stadiums are even still owned by governments. And that makes them public fora. For our purposes, a public forum is a place, like a sidewalk or a street or a public park, where the government has to allow expression of opinions. That also means that owners are limited by the First Amendment when promulgating rules restricting speech, because it’s a government venue they are regulating.

It’s also possible that the players themselves are not the only issue here. Owner rules can be struck down even if they violate the speech rights of non-parties to the suit. So let’s say that the NFL — or an NFL owner — interprets this Rule to apply to fans as well as players. That’s almost certainly unconstitutional and violative of the First Amendment, even though the NFL isn’t the government, because the enforcement is taking place in a government-sponsored venue.

***I am not going to differentiate here between types of public fora. If you’re interested in learning about that, read this.

So what if MLB enacted the NFL’s policy but made clear it applied only to players? Then it would be governed largely as a matter of labor law. Michael McCann, in a piece I highly recommend, found it was no sure thing that an NFL team could fine or discipline a player for kneeling during the anthem. As for MLB, a team would have an even more uphill battle. Here’s why:

That’s from the Major League Uniform Player’s Contract, and this is the exclusive list of reasons for which a team may terminate a player. That “good citizenship” includes protesting is an easy case to make in a courtroom. So a team can’t fire a player. How about fining or suspending a player?

This is probably the only provision in the CBA that gives MLB authority to discipline a player for kneeling during the national anthem. (In fact, the word “protest” appears nowhere in the CBA.) However, this provision doesn’t override federal or state law. As McCann notes,

For instance, a player could pursue remedies offered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC is a federal agency that reviews charges of discrimination. Federal laws guarantee that employees cannot be subject to different types of discrimination as well as certain kinds of employer retaliation. If, for instance, an African American player could show that being fired for protesting the national anthem is associated to his race, he would have a plausible argument that he has been subject to race discrimination. Likewise, if other players supportive of the protests are fired as retaliation, those players might have suffered unlawful harassment. EEOC charges take time to play out, and are complicated in this context by the presence of a CBA. Still, a fired player might seek relief from the EEOC.

And state laws like this one, apply too:

Connecticut has enacted a statute titled, “Liability of employer for discipline or discharge of employee on account of employee’s exercise of certain constitutional rights.” This statute expresses that employers can’t discipline or fire employees on account of those employees exercising their First Amendment right to free speech.

So here are the takeaways. MLB isn’t a government, so it can’t directly infringe a player’s First Amendment rights. But a rule affecting players is still unconstitutional if it is applied to non-players because stadiums are public fora and such a rule would infringe on fans’ First Amendment rights. It probably can’t terminate players for protesting under the uniform contract, because courts consider protesting to be a form of citizenship and protesting racially-based police brutality is probably protected under race discrimination laws. And other discipline, while possibly legal under federal labor law, may be illegal under state laws like those in Connecticut.

As for the NFL rule, expect legal challenges. A lot of them.

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annacreech
196 days ago
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Interesting analysis and some points I had not heard before.
Richmond, VA
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GDPR

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By clicking anywhere, scrolling, or closing this notification, you agree to be legally bound by the witch Sycorax within a cloven pine.
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annacreech
198 days ago
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Richmond, VA
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satadru
200 days ago
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Also, for GDPR purposes, I live in France now.
New York, NY
Lythimus
202 days ago
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another God Damn Privacy Report.
alt_text_at_your_service
202 days ago
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By clicking anywhere, scrolling, or closing this notification, you agree to be legally bound by the witch Sycorax within a cloven pine.
zippy72
196 days ago
But Sycorax Rock!
alt_text_bot
202 days ago
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