Free Speech

Former Oklahoma U Volleyball Player's First Amendment Claim Can Go Forward

Kylee McLaughlin is claiming coaches engaged in "pressure and retaliation ... due to her political beliefs and her reactions to claims of racism," because of the coaches' "political or social justice beliefs, including support for critical race theory, opposition to President Trump, and a belief that white persons like plaintiff are privileged and racist."

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From McLaughlin v. Bd. of Regents, decided yesterday by Judge Joe Heaton (W.D. Okla.):

According to the amended complaint, plaintiff [Kylee McLaughlin] was a premier volleyball player and scholarship student athlete who played on the University [of Oklahoma]'s intercollegiate women's volleyball team. She also describes herself as a practicing Christian and conservative in her political beliefs. Defendant Lindsey Gray-Walton is the head women's basketball coach. Defendant Kyle Walton is Gray-Walton's husband and an assistant women's volleyball coach….

The amended complaint broadly alleges a pattern of pressure and retaliation against plaintiff due to her political beliefs and her reactions to claims of racism by others. She alleges that during the period following the killing of George Floyd and of the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of the coaches of the O.U. volleyball team shifted from volleyball to required discussions about "white privilege and social justice," including watching documentaries about racism and slavery. The complaint alleges that, although her mandated comments about a required documentary were not racist, another team member suggested via a social media post that plaintiff's comments were those of a racist.

The complaint alleges that, on June 12, 2020, plaintiff posted emojis (a laughing clown and a skull and crossbones) on an ESPN website to indicate her skepticism as to whether "The Eyes of Texas," a song of some popularity in the State of Texas, was a racist song. According to the complaint, the posting triggered an immediate contact from Gray-Walton that same day, adverse comments from some of her teammates, and, on the following day, instructions from Gray-Walton for plaintiff to take down her posts and an extended discussion about "white allergies and white privilege" and plaintiff's need to look into herself to identify those things.

The complaint further alleges that, a day or so after the ESPN posting, Gray-Walton and Kyle Walton, along with others, conducted a team meeting directed at plaintiff's comments about the documentary and "The Eyes of Texas." The meeting allegedly included a representative of "the Psychological Research Organization" and O.U.'s Office of "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion." According to the complaint, plaintiff was called a racist and a homophobe during the meeting (apparently by other teammates). Allegedly, defendant Gray-Walton said something to the effect that "we can't save you when you get into the real world" and defendant Kyle Walton said, "Not sure I can coach you anymore."

The complaint alleges plaintiff attempted to apologize but the group rejected the apology because they viewed it as offered with insufficient feeling. Allegedly, due to pressure from Gray-Walton, plaintiff apologized to the coaches and players at the University of Texas the next day by phone and they were more accepting.

The complaint indicates the incident(s) and the accusations that plaintiff was a racist and a homophobe resulted in more meetings, eventually resulting in a zoom meeting (apparently with Gray-Walton and Toby Baldwin, identified as "O.U.'s compliance officer") in which plaintiff was told she "did not fit the culture of the program" and could not be trusted based on her media posts and comments reported by her teammates. She was allegedly presented with an "ultimatum" as to her senior season and required to pick between three options: (1) keep her scholarship, redshirt, practice only with her coach but not the team, and undergo more diversity, equity, and inclusion training, (2) keep her scholarship but only as a student (apparently meaning off the team), or (3) transfer to some other school.

The complaint alleges plaintiff initially elected the first option but also attempted to transfer later. She indicates she, although a senior, was required to participate in the freshman athletic orientation over two days. She alleges she was later required to be in an individual "Growth Plan," involving training about "homosexuality, unlearning 'classism', 'ableism', 'trans and homosexual negativities', and 'sexism.'" … The complaint generally alleges defendants' actions were the result of their strongly held political or social justice beliefs, including support for critical race theory, opposition to President Trump, and a belief that white persons like plaintiff are privileged and racist…. The complaint alleges she was ultimately forced to transfer to another school because of the defendants' actions….

The court concluded that McLaughlin had stated a First Amendment claim; it cited the high school speech precedents (Tinker, Fraser, Hazelwood, and Mahanoy)—I think it incorrectly, since I think they don't generally apply to college students—but added that the "substantial public interest in protecting a student's right to express unpopular opinions" is "[p]resumably … even more substantial in a university context than in a high school such as Mahanoy involved." And it concluded (I think correctly) that, even applying the high school cases, McLaughlin could prevail, if the facts were as she described them to be:

[T]he complaint alleges plaintiff's participation in constitutionally protected speech. If a student's posting, via social media, of a direct and vulgar attack on her school and its coaches is protected speech (i.e., Mahanoy), it is difficult to see how posting a somewhat ambiguous emoji on a third-party website, apparently expressing skepticism that "The Eyes of Texas" is a racist song, could be otherwise.

Further, plaintiff's alleged on-campus statements of her political views, although in the context of a school-sponsored activity, were also protected. There is nothing in the complaint to suggest that plaintiff presented her opinions in a disruptive manner or that they were vulgar or indecent. {Defendants' responses suggest plaintiff said other things that were objectionable beyond those described in the complaint. That may well be, but the inquiry for present purposes is limited to the allegations of the complaint.} Further, it is less than obvious that the coach of the volleyball team has a legitimate pedagogical interest in policing the political opinions of the team's members….  "Of course, players do not completely waive their rights when they join a team; a coach could not dismiss a player simply because the player had religious or political views that were unpopular with his teammates." Lowery v. Euverard (6th Cir 2008)….

[T]he complaint [also] alleges facts sufficient to [show] {adverse action sufficiently severe as to "chill a person of ordinary firmness" from engaging in the speech}. It alleges that defendant Gray-Walton ordered her to take down the post about the "Eyes of Texas," pressured her to apologize to UT personnel, initiated team meetings focused on plaintiff's opinions as expressed about the required film viewing, involved the University's diversity and inclusion office in the discussion (which apparently resulted in remedial attitude-adjustment sessions for plaintiff but not others), restricted plaintiff's opportunity to practice with the team, ignored inquiries from plaintiff and her parents, and ultimately forced her to leave the program. The allegations as to Gray-Walton easily meet the "chill" standard.

The question is closer as to defendant Kyle Walton, who appears to have had less involvement in the various challenged actions. However, his alleged comment to plaintiff during a team meeting — "Not sure I can coach you anymore" — is subject to multiple interpretations. In the context of a motion to dismiss, the court views the alleged facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and the referenced comment could be viewed as suggesting an intent to remove plaintiff from the team. So viewed, it states the necessary threat of adverse action. {Defendants suggest that plaintiff did not have a constitutional right to participate in an extra-curricular activity like being on the volleyball team. However, that fact is not determinative in the First Amendment retaliation context.} …

The court also concluded that the coaches weren't entitled to qualified immunity:

[W]hen the qualified immunity defense is asserted, a plaintiff must show not only that her constitutional rights have been violated but that the pertinent constitutional right was "clearly established" so as to put a defendant on notice that his or her conduct was proscribed. Ordinarily, "clearly established" means that there must be a prior Supreme Court or Tenth Circuit case on point, or that the clear weight of authority elsewhere points only in a single direction….

Here, the qualified immunity issue arises at the motion to dismiss stage and, as noted above, the factual allegations of the complaint are viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiff. The court draws all reasonable inferences from them in plaintiff's favor. Viewed in that light, she has alleged that substantial penalties were imposed on her simply for expressing, in a non-disruptive way, political opinions that the coaches and/or other team members disagreed with. The court concludes it was clearly established that such conduct would run afoul of constitutional prohibitions.

With respect to the off campus conduct on which plaintiff relies (i.e., the ESPN posting), the most instructive case is Seamons v. Snow (10th Cir. 2000). Seamons involved a high school football player who was kicked off the team for reporting to the authorities an assault on him by teammates in the locker room and refusing to apologize for the reporting. The Circuit reversed the district court's grant of qualified immunity to the coach. In finding that the pertinent law was clearly established, the court, referring to its earlier opinion in the same case, said "… extensive case law in 1993 supported the proposition that school authorities may not penalize students when that speech is non-disruptive, non-obscene, and not school-sponsored." Here, the complaint alleges nothing that could plausibly be viewed as disruptive, obscene, or otherwise objectionable.

With respect to the on-campus speech alleged by plaintiff (her comments after viewing the film, etc.), the court concludes the clearly established law precluded what the complaint alleges the defendants did — punishing plaintiff purely for her expression of political opinions they or others disagreed with. The complaint does not allege speech by plaintiff that was disruptive, lewd, or obscene. There is no suggestion that plaintiff's statements were inartfully expressed, poorly researched, or not thought through. It does not allege a basis for concluding her statements were "inflammatory or divisive." … [T]here is nothing in the alleged circumstances to take this case outside the long- established principle that a state actor cannot retaliate against someone just because they disagree with them…. The principle was sufficiently established and obvious that a university professor or coach should have known of it.

The court also allowed McLaughlin's intentional interference with contractual relations cases to go ahead against the coaches:

Defendants do not challenge that plaintiff's relationship with OU was at least partly contractual in nature. Rather, they suggest she did not have a property interest in being there and therefore no claim exists. The court is unpersuaded. The question for present purposes is not whether plaintiff had a property interest in attending OU or playing volleyball, such as might be pertinent in evaluating a Due Process claim. Rather, the claim is for interference with a contract, and the complaint sufficiently alleges interference with it. To the extent the argument focuses on plaintiff's scholarship, the complaint does not allege that her scholarship was revoked directly but it does allege that she was forced to leave the university as a result of the defendants' conduct, with a consequent impact on the scholarship….

And it also allowed the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim to proceed as well:

Here, plaintiff alleges that defendants intentionally and recklessly labeled her as, or portrayed her as, a racist and homophobe. The court concludes the alleged conduct is sufficiently serious, in light of the relationship of the parties, the current societal and political climate, and the fact it occurred in a university setting, to qualify as extreme and outrageous. The complaint also alleges that plaintiff suffered severe emotional distress, sleeplessness, anxiety, embarrassment, injury to her reputation, and humiliation, as a result. At the motion to dismiss stage, plaintiff has sufficiently alleged an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim….

NEXT: What is the S.B. 8 Status Quo?

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  1. Why is a volleyball coach talking to their team about ANYTHING other than volleyball?

    I don’t care if the student rode around campus in a kubelwagen blasting the Horst Wessel song at full blast in Klan regalia, what they do or say off the volleyball court is of no concern to a coach, and what they do or say anywhere on or off campus is of no concern to anyone so long as it is not violent.

    1. Why is a volleyball coach talking to their team about ANYTHING other than volleyball?

      Because they are jack-booted thugs who want to banish conservatives from civil society, regardless of the legality of their actions.

      Next question?

      1. Who is banishing? You guys have opted out of pretty much everything. What of society is civil anyway, according to your accusation?

        1. Nice side-step. Typical.

          1. Don’t respond to me if you are gonna keep up with your “stalker” histrionics, baby nico

            1. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

              1. Heed your words wisely, Don

        2. This girl had not opted out of going to college or playing volleyball, and it was the coaches here who were working towards the banishment. Did you not read the post before entering the comments section? It was pretty clearly laid out there.

        3. Who is banishing?
          She was allegedly presented with an “ultimatum” as to her senior season and required to pick between three options: (1) keep her scholarship, redshirt, practice only with her coach but not the team, and undergo more diversity, equity, and inclusion training, (2) keep her scholarship but only as a student (apparently meaning off the team), or (3) transfer to some other school.

          So, in addition to being a racist pig, a bully, and a thug, you’re also too stupid to be able to read?

          1. Gosh, the hubris of calling me stupid while somehow not noticing I was responding directly to someone’s comment where they said conservatives are being banished from society. And no, I don’t think the option of taking a class and being less racist to your teammates or not being on the team amounts to banishment. But then again, you think I’m too stupid to read.

            1. ” was responding directly to someone’s comment where they said conservatives are being banished from society.”

              Gosh, you mean like being driven off of Facebook, Twitter, and other tools of “social media” that are the new public square?

              You mean like people losing their jobs from left wing “cancel culture” attacks on people expressing conservative views?

              You really are a moron if you think you can argue that the Left isn’t trying to banish conservatives from society

              1. No one is driven off of facebook for being conservative. That’s moronic.

                “You mean like people losing their jobs from left wing “cancel culture” attacks on people expressing conservative views?”

                Such as?

                “You really are a moron if you think you can argue that the Left isn’t trying to banish conservatives from society.”

                I didn’t realize the left had control over society…

                1. No one is driven off of facebook for being conservative. That’s moronic.

                  No, you’re a moron and a liar. Conservatives get suspended and / or banned from FB on a regular basis.

                  You enjoy living with you head up your backside. Don’t expect me to join you

            2. “And no, I don’t think the option of taking a class and being less racist to your teammates or not being on the team amounts to banishment. But then again, you think I’m too stupid to read.”

              1: No, i know you’re too stupid to read

              2: Being forced to undergo dishonest ideological indoctrination, where you will be bullied by lying left wing racist scum bags to give up your non-racist beliefs, is an assault

              3: It is her teammates and her coach who are the racists, not her. Separating people into “black lives” vs “white lives” vs “asian lives” vs whatever is inherently racist.

              Let us know when it’s ok to force you to give up your racist left wing beliefs. Until then? You can STFU about how acceptable it is to try to force other people to give up their beliefs

              4: “I don’t think .. not being on the team amounts to banishment”. You are amazingly stupid. Being kicked off the team is pretty much the platonic ideal of being “banished from the team”

              I pity anyone who has the misfortune to hire you

              1. Weird, I’m a barred attorney and presumably you need to be able to read to pass that exam. I think I’m doing fine on the reading front, to be perfectly honest. What is it that you do?

                “2: Being forced to undergo dishonest ideological indoctrination, where you will be bullied by lying left wing racist scum bags to give up your non-racist beliefs, is an assault”
                Histrionic words that do not amount to anything of value or meaning.

                “3: It is her teammates and her coach who are the racists, not her. Separating people into “black lives” vs “white lives” vs “asian lives” vs whatever is inherently racist.”
                Gonna disagree there. Also you seemed to skip the whole beginning part there.

                “4: “I don’t think .. not being on the team amounts to banishment”. You are amazingly stupid. Being kicked off the team is pretty much the platonic ideal of being “banished from the team””
                She was given a choice and made hers. That’s not banishment.

                Boohoo about my employer. Maybe you should let us know where you work so we can get a massage with a happy ending.

                1. “Histrionic words that do not amount to anything of value or meaning.”

                  That would be a good description of the BS she was disagreeing with, yes

                  “Gonna disagree there”

                  Well, of course you are. You’re a racist pushing your racism, pretending your poison is actually a cure. So of course you’re going to disagree with the truth

                  “She was given a choice and made hers. That’s not banishment.”
                  Yeah. And in the South blacks were given a choice: don’t sit at that lunch counter, or get arrested. So I guess they all just “made their choice”, and none of them were actually forced not to sit at the lunch counter.

                  So, you suck at both reading comprehension and logical reasoning. I completely pity your customers

      2. Lol. Are you from the planet Vulcan? They have a losing team, btw.

        “The Five Pillars

        HUMILITY: Know Who We Are
        PASSION: Do Not Be Lukewarm
        UNITY: Do Not Divide Our House
        SERVANTHOOD: Make Teammates Better
        THANKFULNESS: Learn From Each Circumstance”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Bennett_(basketball)

        1. ” UNITY: Do Not Divide Our House”

          Seems like the racist pig, bullying thug “coaches” were the ones “Diving the House” by bringing their shitty and racist politics into the team.

          So, is the problem that you’re too much of a moron to understand “Why is a volleyball coach talking to their team about ANYTHING other than volleyball?”

          Or are you just such a bully and thug that you get off on observing other people being bullied?

      3. Why is a volleyball coach talking to their team about ANYTHING other than volleyball?

        Um, because a coach isn’t a YouTube training video? Have you ever actually been on a team? Athletic or otherwise? They’re made up of human beings. Human beings talk about lots of stuff when they are together for long periods of time.

        Whether the coach did something stupid or illegal — all we have are one person’s allegations to that effect, not a judicial finding that it happened — “how come the coach talked about major things happening around them?” is the stupidest possible take on the matter.

        1. For athletics, I was on the Cross Country team, and scholastically on the Extemporaneous Speaking and Certamen teams, and was involved in most of the theater stuff. Other than incidental pleasantries about the weather, the coaches/directors stuck to business.

          Even in classes that are inherently a bit political (History, Social Studies) my sense was that the teachers worked pretty hard to present a spectrum of viewpoints, rather than indoctrinate the students with theirs.

          The (public) school did have mandatory chapel with sermons from local ministers, though, so there’s that 🙂

        2. “She alleges that during the period following the killing of George Floyd and of the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of the coaches of the O.U. volleyball team shifted from volleyball to required discussions about “white privilege and social justice,” including watching documentaries about racism and slavery.”

          I’ve never heard of a sports team having to watch documentaries about slavery.

    2. Because one side of the political spectrum has been taught that they can pressure and silence the dreaded “Other” without suffering consequences. It appears their instruction was incorrect.

      1. Quit whining.

        1. “It appears their instruction was incorrect” is triumphant, not whining.

          Now, YOU, Kookland, routinely deploy premature triumph as a form of whining, so it’s understandable that YOU are confused.

          But we are not.

          1. You’re preparing for a great Conservative Conquest Of America in the culture war, Gandydancer?

            You expect the tide of American progress to reverse course — after more than a half-century — and flatter rather than swamp the clingers?

            You see prayer in schools, gay-bashing, voter suppression, environmental depredation, creationism, misogyny, and the White percentage in the American population positioned for comebacks?

            You are planning on Wyoming, Mississippi, Idaho, Alabama, Oklahoma, and South Carolina replacing California, New York, Washington, Connecticut, Virginia, and D.C. as America’s leaders?

            You think Liberty, Regent, Hillsdale, Ave Maria, ASSLaw, Grove City, and Wheaton will supplant Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, NYU, and Columbia as our nation’s leading research and teaching institutions?

            Carry on, clinger. But only so far as the liberal-libertarian mainstream permits.

        2. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland: Quit whining.

          Um, Rev, when do you ever stop whining?

        3. I see more of Rev cuntland’s “betters” working at OK U…parasites all

          1. How is that ostensible “civility standard” working for you, Prof. Volokh? It is still being used against me, of course, at this blog — I’m not a movement conservative.

            1. Quit whining.

    3. It’s almost like ‘teams’ are smaller ‘communities’ or ‘friendship circles’ and that ‘team dynamics’ matter. Nah, that’s silly, amirite!

      1. And yet you endorse coaches digging for reasons to splinter those teams. Revealing!

        1. You figure the coach — rather than the antisocial teammate — precipitated the morale problem in this episode?

          1. The coach is the antisocial racist asshole who brought politics to the team.

            Not the fine upstanding human being of a team player.

            So yes, everyone with a functioning brain understand that the coach precipitated the morale problem in this episode.

      2. It’s almost like ‘teams’ are smaller ‘communities’ or ‘friendship circles’ and that ‘team dynamics’ matter. Nah, that’s silly, amirite!

        Now, why does that end with a “!” rather than a “?”

        But, yes, you’re right. What you are saying is profoundly silly, and determinedly dim and off-point. The U. of Oklahoma Women’s Volleyball team is neither, primarily, a “community” nor a “friendship circle”. It’s a state-sponsored and paid-for entity where the rights of its members cannot be sacrificed on the altar of “team dynamics”.

      3. Team dynamics don’t matter so much as to trump 1st amendment rights and contractual obligations at a public university.

        Should a coach be able to kick a player off the team for expressing support for BLM on a public forum? I don’t think they should, even though I abhor BLM and think the Bureau of Land Management should be abolished and their land ceded to the states.

      4. “It’s almost like ‘teams’ are smaller ‘communities’ or ‘friendship circles’ and that ‘team dynamics’ matter.”

        Lots of things can affect team dynamics, like race, religion, sexual preference, protected political expression, etc.

  2. Kylee kinda sus

    Has she requested relief requiring her former teammates (and everyone else) to like or respect her despite the things that come out of her mouth and tweetyfingers?

    Some people just seem more comfortable among the Rebs at Ole Miss (SEC football’s last proudly all-White team).

    1. I think she’s probably going to be satisfied with a strong smacking down of the university for their adverse actions substantially chilling her exercise of free speech, and damages.

      And who would want to be liked and respected by closed-minded little Eichmanns anyway? Those fuckers can do their self righteous authoritarian thing without her.

      I’ll keep on bitterly clinging, so no need for your thoughtless canned rejoinder.

      1. If a player’s teammates disdain her because she repeatedly says stupid, intolerant things that cause them to regard her as a racist, a homophobe, and a jerk, that affects team performance and becomes the coach’s concern.

        (The link to the decision doesn’t work (at least not yet), but I doubt the claims from the complaint regurgitated by the sympathetic judge are likely the final or best description of what occurred.)

        1. “If a player’s teammates disdain her because she repeatedly says stupid, intolerant things that cause them to regard her as a racist…..and a jerk”

          Art, you’ve just perfectly described your relationship to the other regular posters on this board.

          1. I am not the Conspirators’ teammate.

            I am the other team.

            You can distinguish the sides by the theme song of my team. Generally speaking, the Conspirators’ team doesn’t have a theme song.

            1. “I am the other team.”

              You can say that again.

              1. That video depicts some guy named Steve Burns.

                I am Arthur Kirkland, Academy Award nominee and cinematic icon.

                I see some resemblance, but that’s a rookie mistake.

        2. I too would like to see the entire complaint. A respondent’s motion to dismiss early always takes the plaintiff’s view.

          Disdain and regard are protected, so no cause there. Team performance is not a concern for the plaintiff and as regards the respondents not an “adverse action” taken, so nothing there either.

          I understand the authoritarian compulsion to destroy those whose speech is unorthodox. That power can be intoxicating!

          1. It’s interesting this crowd bends the knee for hell, not even a professor, but a coach, to teach them things outside the coach’s expertise, when they go purple in the face if a professor in some other ​field does the exact same thing, making mention of something they find off-color.

            If the line matches that demanded by those in power, blabber away regardless of your teaching expertise. If it doesn’t, how dare you. Get out.

            1. What do you mean, outside his expertise? He has a college degree in Sports Management!

        3. If the coach is concerned, then she needs to say something like “(plaintiff) can exercise free speech whenever she wants, and i support her and that freedom just as i support the rest of you in your exercise. If you are too childish to act like an adult and a teammate, there’s the door. Raus mit dir!”

          1. That seems a bit naive.

          2. Would you say the same about a player who wrecked team morale by repeatedly belittling Christians, hayseeds, Catholics, Republicans, and did I mention superstitious hayseeds?

            1. Don’t lie. You never made any team except Team Stupid.

            2. Depends. Are they doing it on the volleyball floor during games, or on Facebook on their own time?

      2. An Internet NPC is not known for the ability to generate independent thought.

    2. Kylee kinda sus

      Of what? Being racist?

      Oh, yes, you do go on to say that in typically mealy-mouthed fashion, don’t you?
      You just come out and say what you mean.

      You are a smelly piece of shit.

      See, that’s how it’s done, by folks who aren’t slime suckers like you.

      I will add that Kook is doing his usual weird trick of linking to some
      youtube video. Usually musical, I gather, but in this case: Who knows?

      1. Reason’s comment software is trash.

        Usually, I just note the error I can’t fix, but in this case I want to repeat calling the Kook what he is.

        Kylee kinda sus

        Of what? Being racist?

        Oh, yes, you do go on to say that in typically mealy-mouthed fashion, don’t you?

        You are a smelly piece of shit.

        See, that’s how it’s done, by folks who aren’t slime suckers like you. You just come out and say what you mean.

        I will add that Kook is doing his usual weird trick of linking to some
        youtube video. Usually musical, I gather, but in this case: Who knows?

      2. People much closer to this fledgling clinger than I will ever be adjudged her a racist and a homophobe.

        I see no reason to doubt them. Do you?

        1. No Rev cuntland, because, like stated above, you are a little Eichmann.

          Most here think you a racist too..(Rev cuntland shouldn’t doubt us)..

          1. Most here are disaffected, discredited, obsolete culture war losers, huddling together at a White, male, right-wing blog for a bit of fleeting warmth as society passes them by and replacement approaches.

  3. Notice if you replace the identifying words it sounds exactly like a cult.

    1. Projection is indeed a heck of a drug.

      1. You think volley ball practice should focus on CRT and white privilege?

        1. It might focus on things bothering the players outside of spike technique? Most successful programs seem to do that…

          1. spit it out don’t try to hide your position by reverting to generalities. You want volleyball couches to indoctrinate kids in CRT and white privilege theory.

            1. If it leads to the team winning, then hell yes. By the way, you aren’t trying to suppress the coach’s free speech rights, are you?

              1. Apparently it leads to team division and lawsuits.

          2. Yea I noticed how much woke and CTR Saban allows at Bama. Not to mention the reaction to “The Eyes of Texas” song at UT. Not saying UT is as successful as Bama but please explain why the song is not only mentioned in the article but still played at UT athletic events.

            But maybe you and I simply don’t agree on the definition of ‘most successful programs’,

          3. Neither universities nor sports teams should encourage neuroticism like that — unless they are explicitly pushing Democrat party lines. As we know for science, leftism is correlated with neurotic tendencies.

            1. Michael, please don’t blame the Democrats for CRT. That was the work of my fine colleagues in the secret Jewish cabal of bankers and newsmen. Give credit where it is due!

              1. Is that a slur suggesting that Michael suffers from Jews on the Brain or a confession of your own JDS?

                1. Leftists have a long and ongoing history of blatant anti-Semitism, but I think this was just more asinine gaslighting like IPL’s first comment in this thread.

                  1. It’s not Michael. We work hard in the secret Jewish cabal and it’s about time you recognize it!

  4. I see Volokh’s resident bigot couldn’t resist the urge to chime in. “Mute” is a useful feature, indeed.

    1. Which one: the “queen” or the “rev”?

      But I embrace the power of “and”.

      1. Queen Anathema isn’t a bigot, per se. Just an idiot.

        Kirkland? Yeah, ok. That’s dead on.

        1. It must be depressing to know that you and the other deplorable clingers are unable to remain competitive in the culture war with — indeed, are being stomped into submission by — people you regard as idiots and bigots.

          One more reason it is great to be part of the liberal-libertarian mainstream.

          1. No Rev cuntland you and yours are Just parasites gorging on the host

  5. Texan here. The Eyes of Texas is kind of a worthless little ditty that has no reason to exist but there’s absolutely nothing racist about it.

    Apparently the objection is that it was performed at minstrel shows and those shows “may have included performers in blackface”. May. This is much ado about nothing, and the fact that Oklahoma volleyball somehow got caught up in it shows how mindlessly vapid this stuff sometimes is.

    1. Might believe you actually think that if not for your claim to be a Texan.

      Unless you’re in the habit of never reading past the second sentence of an article, it would be difficult to avoid in-state coverage of the UT controversy. Not a Texan, but even I have read neutral coverage acknowledging the claims of the song’s detractors that no matter the its origins, 1) it took on white supremacist symbolism (KKK/local govt: ‘we’re watching you, n-word‘) during the 1950s-1970s Southern backlash to civil rights, and 2) that was reborn with additional intensity with the alt-right’s 21st century Richard Spencer-type White Nationalism resurgence.

      I have insufficient knowledge to form an opinion on the accuracy of those claims, but you’d be more credible if you could at least demonstrate knowledge of your opponent’s actual arguments, instead of tossing off irrelevant, racist-adjacent views like “‘minstrel shows may have included performers in blackface.’ May.”

      1. I saw a report on the news and they interviewed one of the plaintiffs (UT us now being syed over this). You make your own decision, but I’ll rely on what I saw one of the people involved say.

        I read an article that tried to make a deeper connection and even when they were stretching for something – this article tried to tie it to Robert E Lee – none of your goofy assertions were mentioned. Number 1 is silly, as that basically has no meaning. There’s no evidence of number 2 anywhere. Who gives a shit what the 21st century small group of white nationalists say? Are you one of those that gets upset about the ok sign because some internet rando may have used it as a white powered symbol.

        The most documented connection to history involves a guy named William Prather. He was the President of UT and would tell the students that “the eyes of Texas are upon you”, meaning that the state was expecting them to do great acts with the education they were fortunate to have. The song was written to make fun of him, but somehow it stuck.

        Again, no racial connotation. There have been attempts to attach his usage of the phrase to RE Lee, who Prather knew, but there’s no record of Lee using that or a similar phrase.

        So yeah, my conclusion has a bit more depth in it than you think. There have been a lot of people looking for some connection of the song to something bad with zero success. Which suggests there’s nothing there. This the bogus maybe blackface claim. Having made a claim for which there is no evidence they can’t just let it go.

        Thanks for the bullshit lecture, though.

        1. Good reply, but I wouldn’t suffer the “tossing off irrelevant, racist-adjacent views” bit without commenting on it. Don’t let the bastards get away with things without rebuke and fully-expressed contempt.

          1. Particularly since the purported quote was altered to make Bevis look worse.

      2. See, this is the problem now. Look at the mental gymnastics you had to go through to try to make this something. “We’re watching you” wasn’t a common threat in that era anyway and is a far cry form “the eyes of Texas”. We means whoever is speaking, not the state of Texas. And the stuff about Spencer et al is a hoot. There are zero reports of those clowns using this song for anything.

        There is still racism around – as there always will be – but we’ve reached a point where the supply of racism is not enough to reach the demand, so from time to time we’ve got to come up with contrived stuff like this.

      3. How could it possibly have a conation of ‘we’re watching you, n-word‘ when the point of the song is to encourage the students at UT to do their best because the whole state is watching. You can’t really play a song every Saturday to encourage the most popular football team in the State then trot it out at a Klan rally and expect to use it to intimidate Blacks.

        Wikipedia: “The lyrics are said to be intended to poke fun at University President William Lambdin (Colonel) Prather. Prather had attended Washington College, now Washington and Lee University, whose president was Robert E. Lee. Prather was known for including in his speeches a similar admonition, “The eyes of Texas are upon you,” meaning that the state of Texas was watching and expecting the students to go out and do great things. Prather enjoyed the song and promoted its usage. He died not long thereafter, and the song was played at his funeral.”

  6. “The complaint alleges plaintiff attempted to apologize but the group rejected the apology because they viewed it as offered with insufficient feeling. Allegedly, due to pressure from Gray-Walton, plaintiff apologized to the coaches and players at the University of Texas the next day by phone and they were more accepting.”

    The only apology she should have made was that she was sorry that her teammates and the coach were racists.

    1. Yes, the best apology for situations like this are: “I’m sorry you are such an idiot. Try to do better next time.”

  7. And the current critical race theory diversity perversity crowd is supposedly not a religion….

  8. Maybe a little OT but I am watching UT knock the slobber out of OU after UT played “The Eyes of Texas”.

    1. I don’t think it’s off target but it may have been a bit of a premature celebration… Good game, tied at 48 with a minute on the clock.

      Defenses have been really bad today. Arkansas/Ole Miss game totaled 103 points. Mystifyingly, Arkansas went for a 2 point conversion with no time, rather than simply tying up at 52 each and going into overtime.

      What was the coach *thinking*?

      1. Key, I think, was your “Defenses have been really bad today.

        So, coach is thinking, “We’re on the road, we’re tired, neither of us has been able to stop the other, we have a play we really like for this. We score, they don’t get another chance. Let’s end it now.

        Seems logical.

    2. ” I am watching UT knock the slobber out of OU ”

      UT knocked the slobber out of OU by a negative touchdown, 48-55.

  9. Best possible outcome is the university takes its obligation to educate its students seriously and fires the coaches and teaches all the volleyball players why the coach was wrong, why people who disagree with you aren’t automatically racist, and why assuming the worst about people around you is going to lead to you living a miserable life.

    1. Best possible outcome has to include Kylee McLaughlin getting a nice settlement to compensate for UO screwing up her college sports experience and to encourage the UO to remember to do what you suggest. Also to encourage lawyers to take these kinds of cases.

  10. I once did know a President,
    Away down South, in Texas.
    And, always, everywhere he went,
    He saw the eyes of Texas.
    The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
    All the live long day.
    The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
    You can not get away.
    Do not think you can escape them
    At night or early in the morn
    The Eyes of Texas are upon you
    ‘Till Gabriel blows his horn.
    Sing me a song of Prexy,
    Of days long since gone by.
    Again I seem to great him
    And hear his kind reply.
    Smiles of gracious welcome
    Before my memory rise,
    Again I hear him say to me,
    “Remember Texas’ Eyes.”

    Yep, never read or heard anything more clearly racist than this song.
    (Except the democratic party platform)

    Those coaches must be descended form the people who thought “The green, green grass of home” was a drug song.

  11. This always goes back to leftist always fail on the battle field of ideas.

    The player had to be silenced, less, open debate exposes how shallow and wrong the whole “privilege” shtick routine has become.

  12. (Disclaimer: The facts might be different from what the plaintiff claims in the suit. So I’ll discuss the implications of a hypothetical fact situation like that the plaintiff alleges)

    “it cited the high school speech precedents (Tinker, Fraser, Hazelwood, and Mahanoy)—I think it incorrectly, since I think they don’t generally apply to college students”

    I dunno – if a high school student can walk around the school with a black armband expressing opposition to a war in which the elder brothers of fellow-students are fighting, and has the right to do it despite the offense it gives, then I would imagine a college student could defend a song without suffering retaliation for the offense she gives.

    “There is no suggestion that plaintiff’s statements were inartfully expressed, poorly researched, or not thought through. It does not allege a basis for concluding her statements were “inflammatory or divisive.”

    The judge just described the speech in most free-speech cases. Congratulations to the plaintiff if she avoided such speech, but I don’t see how it could have affected her rights if, say, she was as inartful as her leftist fellow students or a poorly researched as the pink-haired lady who was an academic freedom martyr at UNC.

    1. When defending the right of a professor to say, after 9/11, America deserved it, the claim was that the outrage you felt was a good thing, shaking you out of your complacency.

      When the federal national endowment for the arts paid money for art works such as upending a cross in urine, the outrage you felt at your government paying for it was defended as a good thing. It was shaking you out of your complacency and exposing you to other thinking.

      Now these same people work their ass off to attack and destroy those who say outrageous things.

      This is industrial scale fraud and censorship. Note the issue is not differences of opinion, which goes without saying in a theoretically free society, but that this difference, if it be outrageous, should be a destruction vector on the speaker because my hearing it outrages me and upsets me, or the opposite, something good for you to hear, and the outrage you feel is a good thing to experience.

      I know there are good people in the ACLU, who really believe in freedom of speech, but it certainly seems like some of them were in it to “stick it in the craw” of the other side.

      Which means freedom of speech is on much shakier ground than we may imagine, since some of the craw stickers now censor with a clear conscience.

      I hope I am wrong.

      1. Krayt, to me you seem wrong in ways you don’t seem to own up to. In between the poles of controversy about speech at the extremes is an extensive domain of civil society, governed not so much by laws, principles, and rights, as by norms based on social practicality. That domain tends to include most of the venues where society collaborates on purposeful action—for most people it encompasses a very large fraction of day-to-day life.

        Your view seems to insist on bypassing that intermediate domain, at least in cases where extreme speech you favor runs afoul of norms demanding civility. I suggest this all works better if we keep the liberties guaranteed for the public square mentally separate from the many venues of life which are better governed by less capacious views of liberty than the public square requires. Sometimes life just works better if the norms are prioritized ahead of the rights.

        I will take that a step farther. I suggest that unwillingness to compromise perceived rights in an intermediate domain of civility will not achieve better protection of rights, but instead damage the rights. Most folks confronted with demands for uncivil conduct on a day-to-day basis are less likely to acknowledge the rights than to say, “Screw the rights, we can’t live this way.”

        1. Why are you so set on conflating norms and legal obligations or limits? Do you think that Mapplethorpe or the Tinkers should have compromised their perceived rights?

          1. Jeez, Michael P, I thought I was distinguishing norms from legal obligations or limits. And look at that, in my second sentence, that is just what I did. And the second paragraph is about nothing else.

            Short answer to your question: in the public square, no one should have to compromise rights, even if they are merely perceived rights, and not real ones. There, we get to be wrong about rights. In the public square that does little or no damage, because the public square is the right place to discuss principles, to weigh principles, to practice principles, and to insist on principles.

            In the intermediate civil domain, what we tend to practice is day-to-day purposeful activity. There, being wrong about rights, and sometimes even being too insistently right about rights, can do damage. Which is why, as a matter of fact, law tends to give way to other norms in those situations. You don’t get free speech at the office, and if you think you do, the law may not back you up. That is not an error in principle, it is a wise relaxation of principle.

            Folks who suppose they insist on the same principle applied everywhere, all the time, are mostly in bad faith, even with themselves. Not infrequently, those folks are ambitious to encroach on the lives of others, whom they mean to target. Doing so in the name of high principle gives the targeters an opportunity to be obnoxious and destructive, while posing as champions of rights. It is tiresome behavior, and lately it seems on the increase.

            1. Your “intermediate civil domain” is completely and totally irrelevant to what a government run university ought to be able to enforce with punitive measures.

              1. You’re right, and I’m sure you’re legitimately concerned that it was a government run university engaged in the viewpoint discrimination, rather than viewing that fact as merely a convenient hook to fight back against D&I training and coaches rejecting the odious views of one of their players.

                1. SimonP, I go back and forth on the government-run-schools bit. Isn’t there a huge difference in public policy power between faculty members of a public university, and state legislators presuming to impose their own politics on the university’s mission? It seems absurd to be holding public university faculty out as public policy makers.

                  I also think it is unwise for actual public policy makers to meddle too closely in the purposeful activity of university administration and teaching. I have noticed we get lots of arguments in the form of, “Public schools are arms of the state, so the legislature rules supreme about everything.” One problem being that there is almost never any concerted legislative voice to say much about anything, let alone everything. Attempt to do that tend to enflame rivalries among policy makers, and put concerted educational guidance beyond agreement.

                  As a result, the claims that politicians are empowered to control minutely every aspect of public education come mostly from blowhards making assertions beyond their authority. Likewise the more absurd claims that university administrators and faculty are public policy makers on a par with state legislators and executives.

                  I am not saying there ought to be nothing for the state to control. I do think it would be wiser if state officials reflected, and decided the best control they could practically provide was a kind of distanced oversight, so long as the purposeful business of academia was recognizably being practiced at state universities, preferably in ways which made them seem broadly similar to the better private schools.

                  In the absence of formal, coherent legislative rule making for education, I think it is extremely unwise for state authorities of whatever kind to presume they are empowered to impose their own political preferences on state schools.

                  1. “Public policy power” is not the only way that rights get infringed. Not even through policies, unless you consider things like “free speech zones” for students to be public policies.

                    Most of what you seem to consider “minute” control by “blowhards” are politicians drawing the line at universities choosing to violate rights and/or indoctrinate students, like in this case. By your standard of “the purposeful business of academia”, that is a legitimate form of oversight by the sovereign’s elected representatives.

            2. Yes, I agree that your arguments explain why the coaches were clearly in the wrong. There is a strong norm among professionals to keep politics and religion out of the workplace. These coaches were grossly unprofessional, both in introducing their political religion to their workplace and in applying it to violate the rights of the students on their team. There is a strong norm against forcing people to comment on controversial topics, and these coaches violated that one too.

              The coaches thought they could apply principles from their private beliefs in their workplace, abusing their authority to impress racial inequities — as you say, “in bad faith, even with themselves” and ambitious to encroach on the lives of others.

              1. You’ve kind of proven Stephen’s point, here, insofar as you fault the coaches’ failure to abide by this imagined “professional standard” but seem to be on Kylee’s own disregard for the civility standards that applied in those circumstances. You don’t seem to have a consistent concern for principle. You just invoke it when convenient.

                1. Kylee didn’t choose to violate those norms. Her law-breaking, unprofessional coaches forced the team to sit through indoctrination and then mandated that everyone on the team share their thoughts.

      2. Where we at is “white people suck because the color of their skin” and if you don’t buy into this crock of shit you are somehow the racist.

        White libtards fall all over themselves trying to out virtue signal each other.

  13. “Of course, players do not completely waive their rights when they join a team; a coach could not dismiss a player simply because the player had religious or political views that were unpopular with his teammates.” Lowery v. Euverard (6th Cir 2008)….

    That seems fatuous, and maybe deliberately beside the point. How about on a team with some Black players, and a White player who insistently expresses “political,” views that are overtly racist? In such a case, doesn’t the, “simply because,” consideration shift from the content of the views to the question whether the team can function?

    1. Except that what she stated was not racist. In fact, she was protesting racism. The whole “white” this and that is what is racist

      1. Wreckinball, when you fight the hypothetical, bystanders are likely to conclude you are not in good faith.

        More generally, you do not get to decide for everyone, all the time, what is and is not racist. No matter how logically attractive you find the argument, “The anti-racists are the real racists,” no one has the power to impose that view on people who consider themselves experts on racism, because they feel targeted by it. And they get just as much say in the nation’s public life as you do. You might do better to advocate less divisive (not to say hostile) critiques.

    2. Alternate hypothetical: the team is mostly white and racist, and objects to the presence of a black teammate who supports integration. OK to kick off the black guy so the team can function?

      Was your argument the same a few decades ago when this was an all too common non-hypothetical?

      1. Absaroka, your comment seems to enable a view which valorizes racism, for the sake of what you take to be consistency of principle. Perhaps you imagine that doing it that way lets you—by choosing a better principle—oppose racism consistently. It does not work that way in practice. For example, look no farther than wreckinball’s comment above.

        This nation has a vast store of experience with racism. If that experience teaches anything, it teaches that negligently leaving the notion of principle lying around in sight of racists is a shortcut to a nation struggling against racist principles.

        For that reason, my advocacy works the opposite of yours—we consult that store of experience with racism in its many manifestations, identify which manifestations are racist, and do what we can to apply norms against racism in context.

        No doubt you and others will fret about the possibility of an unprincipled anti-racism, oxymoronically running amok. For all of you, I recommend a brilliant essay, “Rationalism in Politics,” written by the conservative English philosopher and political theorist, Michael Oakeshott. Because I suppose you won’t read it, I will run the hazard of summarizing an extremely subtle discussion: in politics, experience works better than theory.

        1. “identify which manifestations are racist”

          One good way to do that is “does this treat people differently based on their skin color?”.

          1. I guarantee you that this whole notion that people should be treated equally whatever their skin color will rapidly evaporate, among the right, as white people continue to lose political, economic, and cultural power.

            That’s exactly what we’re seeing happen now, in the realm of religion. For many years, we lived with the rule that the Constitution did not prevent the government from imposing generally applicable and facially neutral laws that would inhibit how one might choose to practice their religious faith. That worked just great when mainstream Christians held political power – for them! But now that they’re losing sway, they’re trying to push the Court to re-discover something in the First Amendment that gives religious people a “get out of jail free” card. And I suspect you’re probably on their side, in that.

            Expect the same, for whites, in the coming decades. All of those minority-majority Voting Rights Act cases will come in handy for helping white people maintain political power in some parts of the country. That might require some resuscitating after the Roberts Court has its way with the VRA. And we’ll probably re-discover that the framers of the Civil Rights Amendments fully anticipated that affirmative action would be an appropriate means of enforcing their provisions – something we kind of forgot about in the later 20th century, when we were busy deciding that “equal protection” actually protected white men from that kind of thing.

            1. “I guarantee you that this whole notion that people should be treated equally whatever their skin color will rapidly evaporate,…”

              As I understand the demographic trends, it’s the opposite. The young’uns aren’t all hung up on skin color or ethnicity, and as they procreate society is turning tan. That makes carve outs a bit problematic.

              It’s going to be challenging to properly assign the right amount of preference to someone who is 1/4 Irish, 1/4 Nigerian, 1/4 Chinese, 1/8 Inuit, and 1/8 Brazilian, whose faith is a blended Baptist/Buddhist. And that’s where we’re headed.

              There used to be a poster here, PersonFromPorlock, who pointed out that keeping the existing preference schemes long term would require reviving anti-miscegnation laws. He has a point.

            2. “And I suspect you’re probably on their side, in that.”

              Your suspicions are worth as much as your guarantee. Now be a
              decent person and give everyone their 30 seconds back.

            3. “For many years, we lived with the rule that the Constitution did not prevent the government from imposing generally applicable and facially neutral laws that would inhibit how one might choose to practice their religious faith.”

              Like in the old days when they drafted Quakers into the armed forces? I don’t remember a whole lot of cases of that, and in those few instances when it happened the government acknowledged its error and backed off. The country was certainly WASP-dominated in those days, more so than now, anyway.

              Or do you mean the time in 1972 when a mostly-WASP Supreme Court gave the Amish a carve-out from generally-applicable compulsory education laws?

              Or that time in 1992 when right-wing President Bill Clinton (/sarc) signed a bill to let people get religious-carve-outs from generally-applicable laws? Do you recall that nigh-unanimous, bipartisan law?

              Probably not.

              1. Perhaps we can trace the ideological evolution of the American Civil Liberties Union, which started out supporting the bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, then years afterwards when their own oxen got gored, proposed major rollbacks on that law.

                No need to speculate what *might* happen when we see what *has* happened.

              2. “Quakers” should read “pacifist Quakers.” Believe it or not, there are Quakers of the other kind.

            4. “this whole notion that people should be treated equally whatever their skin color will rapidly evaporate”

              Of course it wouldn’t evaporate, because liberals like you would rally around the nondiscrimination principle and denounce racism and racial discrimination, whoever the targets might be, and regardless of who says racism is a good thing.

              That’s what you’d do, right? Or would you side with the hypothetical-future-conservatives and approve racism?

        2. OK, let’s touchdown on planet earth if only for a brief time, and ask whether the allegations, if true, show anything bad about the university.

    3. Going further back in the paragraph that quote was pulled from, one might think that political views which were overtly racist might make the cutoff for “vulgar or indecent” speech, and thus be subject to discipline.

    4. If a player contributes to a hostile education environment — either on campus or in university-sponsored activities — on the basis of a protected class, then they could legally be disciplined.

      That is not what happened here. Rather, the player was the target and victim of a hostile education environment.

    5. The fact that keeps getting lost in the narrative and in everyone’s pre-conceived opinions us that there’s no evidence that the song has any connection to racism.

  14. It’s funny that so much of our “free speech” law comes from cases about white people saying racist things. Kylee stands alongside the KKK, in this respect.

    I can understand why that law might protect Kylee from losing her spot on the team, her scholarship, etc., for expressing her worthless opinion so tactlessly that it elicited this big of a response, but I’m a little more concerned by the judge’s conclusion that simply calling her a racist could itself, somehow, be a justiciable tort. That is a “snowflake” claim.

    1. What I’m missing here is any coherent proof that the song is racist. The school did a comprehensive investigation of the history of the song that appears to be in good faith and couldn’t find any connection between the song and anything racial. All of the claims about Robert E Lee and the minstrel show were crap.

      They published a 50+ page report on what they found. If I had been in this girl’s position I would have kept my mouth shut, but the 1A suggests she doesn’t have to. And it looks like her “racist” position is factually correct. Might behoove you to take a glance at the facts before you compare her to the KKK.

      1. I don’t care to get involved in a red herring argument over the song, one – because I don’t expect you’re disputing its status in good faith, and two – because it’s not relevant or central to the claims being made. From what’s been excerpted here, it appears to be just one data point, including a Kylee’s reaction to the department’s response to her comments on the song, going into the broader “racist” characterization. She doesn’t seem to be claiming that it violated her First Amendment rights for the coaches to view her comment on the song to be a “teaching moment.” She seems to be claiming that it violated her First Amendment rights for the aftermath to have resulted in her ejection from the team.

        Everything about the excerpts here – all of it construed in Kylee’s favor due to the procedural posture – suggests to me that she was actually pretty nasty towards her teammates and her actually voiced opinions pretty odious. The team rejected her “apology,” for instance, as “insincerely felt.” I expect we can both imagine how that apology likely went. “I’m sorry that you’re offended,” etc., complete with eye rolls and monotone delivery.

        1. So you’re the only person here that argues in good faith I bet. This is a stupid controversy started by a bullshit claim of racism. Nobody can point to anything racist here, but hey, somebody whined do it must be true.

          I don’t care about Kylie.

          And – I mean this in good faith – you can fuck off, you arrogant prick.

          1. So you’re the only person here that argues in good faith I bet.

            I needn’t go that far, but it is certainly hard for me to imagine that a “good faith” response to my correctly explaining why the song’s racist (or not) history isn’t dispositive on the question of whether Kylee is, in fact, a “racist” would include the sign off, “you can fuck off, you arrogant prick.”

            I seem to get this kind of vituperation a lot, whenever I take a “conservative” seriously enough to critique their claims carefully. It’s an astonishingly consistent tell. It’s almost as though careful reasoning breaks their brain.

            1. Your imaginative failures are not relevant

            2. I find it amusing that someone so hung up up about “arguing in good faith” would have presented the claim “Kylee stands alongside the KKK, in this respect”.

    2. The judge did not conclude that “simply calling her a racist coud itself, somehow, be a justiciable tort”. People saying she was a racist was only part of the fact pattern being cited for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

      1. Yes, the rest of the relevant “fact pattern” being a bunch of generalized hand-waving at the social circumstances in which the accusations were made. The judge is saying, essentially, that calling someone “racist” and “homophobic”, “intentionally”(?) and “recklessly”(?), when those labels carry as much power in the current public discourse as they do, could amount to the “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

        It’s a snowflake claim. If she can sue for sleepless nights because she’s worried about being called a “racist” when she doesn’t feel like she actually is a racist, then I ought to be able to sue for all the veiled death threats I get here.

        1. I’m surprised there are only veiled death threats.

        2. You could just admit that you didn’t read what the judge wrote, and that you don’t understand what it meant after I pointed it out to you.

          Coaches are not supposed to bully their team members. Especially not about things that are fundamentally not related to the team. And they’re not supposed to make veiled threats to kick their victims off the team for exercises of protected rights, among other real or threatened actions against their victim. That’s why the IIED claim can proceed.

        3. The judge is saying, essentially, that calling someone “racist” and “homophobic”, “intentionally”(?) and “recklessly”(?), when those labels carry as much power in the current public discourse as they do, could amount to the “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

          Are you claiming that calling someone who disagrees with you “racist” and “homophobic” is NOT meant to inflict emotional distress?

          Just how stupid are you?

          1. It’s probably meant to inflict emotional distress, but it’s also protected by the First Amendment. Taking the allegations in the complaint as true, the tort was created when that kind of speech was coupled to other behaviors — like threatening to kick her off the team or rescind her scholarship, or clear abuse of their position of authority — such that the overall behavior was “extreme and outrageous”.

            1. She pleaded in buzzwords and you’re an ignorant moron that doesn’t know the difference between being gaslit and made fun of. Were you homeschooled?

            2. “It’s probably meant to inflict emotional distress, but it’s also protected by the First Amendment. ”

              No, lies are not protected by the 1st Amendment.

              Otherwise libel wouldn’t be something you could sue over.

              Calling someone a “racist” for refusing the embrace the objectively and clearly racist “Black Lives Matter” (defining people as having “black lives” vs “white lives” is by definition racist) is a lie.

              It’s not a difference of opinion, and it’s not a statement of opinion. it’s a false statement about a factual matter.

    3. “expressing her worthless opinion so tactlessly that it elicited this big of a response”

      I bet she was wearing a short skirt, too. Just asking for it.

      1. ^Thread winner

  15. I predict discovery in this litigation would indicate that every time this young woman spoke or tweeted, her teammates became more convinced of her diffuse bigotry. I doubt her complaint accurately depicts the degree to which she could be damned by her own words
    — in part because complaints are partisan, in part because she may not recognize that her words are those of a bigoted clinger.

    1. “I predict discovery in this litigation would indicate that every time this young woman spoke or tweeted, her teammates became more convinced of her diffuse bigotry”

      Which is to say, many of her teammates are the kind of bigoted assholes and morons who claim that saying “All Lives Matter” is “racist”.

      Reality check: they’re the racists, not her

  16. Look at yourself man. Making assumptions about someone you don’t know because of their race and political opinions. You calling someone a bigot is like George Wallace calling someone a bigot. You’ve got mo moral ground from which to make the accusation.

  17. I’m having trouble accessing the link to the opinion. It also doesn’t appear on Westlaw. Any chance you could fix the link? I’ll try downloading it from PACER next, but wanted to let you know about the link issue.

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