The Lorain Journal published a column written by Theodore Diadiun (defendants) implying that Michael Milkovich (plaintiff) lied under oath at a judicial proceeding related to his role as a wrestling coach at a local high school. The article stated: “Anyone who attended the meet . . . knows in his heart that Milkovich . . . lied at the hearing . . . .” Milkovich brought a libel suit against Diadiun and the Lorain Journal. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants on the grounds that the article constituted an opinion which was protected speech under the First Amendment. The Ohio Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court of Ohio dismissed Milkovich’s appeal. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.