Was Duck Commander Phil Robertson's Right to Free Speech Violated by A & E?

I'm seeing a lot of people claiming Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson had his right to free speech violated. Government officials, politicians and supportive celebrities have all gone on record stating his Constitutional rights were violated when he was suspended by A & E.

Phil Robertson's right to free speech wasn't violated by A & E. Here's the text of the 1st Amendment that grants us freedom of speech:

"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."

Only the government has to allow free speech. Since A & E isn't a government-owned station, they don't have to allow their employees to speak freely.

To be clear, I don't agree with what was done to Phil Robertson and think he should be allowed to speak freely, but A & E has no requirement by law to allow him to do so. When A & E made the decision to suspend Phil for speaking his mind, they sent a strong message to the rest of America about how they feel. If you agree with Phil and believe he should be able to speak freely, there's one good way to send a strong message back to the folks over at A & E. Stop watching the show and don't purchase official Duck Dynasty merchandise.

Duck Dynasty is owned by A & E and they get a big cut of everything sold under the Duck Dynasty moniker. If you still want to support Phil and his family, purchase items sold under the Duck Commander brand. That brand is their brand and isn't as tied into Duck Dynasty.