The NFL shuts down free speech
Hartford: It’s now impossible for me to sit down in good conscience and watch a single second of NFL football this season or as long as its new policy remains in place (“Owners a national disgrace,” column, May 24).
This country was literally built on protest. America has always — since its inception — been a fervent defender of people’s right to dissent and show their dissatisfaction with societies and governments in ways that they saw fit (with the exception, of course, of causing harm to others).
Now, the NFL — whose billionaire owners are apparently both afraid and in awe of their “billionaire” friend in the White House — has elected to punish its players if they engage in peaceful and respectful protest. This policy runs directly and offensively contrary to our values and history. This should have been a great year to be a football fan.
Unfortunately, the league’s disrespect for and political abuse of its players, makes the NFL unwatchable. They’ve lost one of their biggest fans, and I hope I’m not alone. Aaron Rosenberg
Forest Hills: Do NFL owners think that this initiative will not be viewed as their caving in to the bullying criticisms of the current occupant of the White House?
I hope most fans will see this not as a noble and courageous move but as a weak and patently un-American response to a President butting into where he shouldn’t. Now I do hope that the fans will boycott these games as a response to the owners’ initiative. I know I will — even though I have yet to see a football game. I’m sure this will label me as un-American in this current poisonous political climate. Ron Gersh
Cover the cops too
Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.: I always view the front page of the paper as an empty canvas (“NFL dishonors the flag,” May 24). The Daily News should invest in a paint-by-numbers set, because of late you have no clue. Whoever decides the front page has clearly lost their moral compass. To only list civilian victims and not police officers, who put their life on the line every day is completely moronic. How many officers have died or have been injured protecting us during this timeframe of lost victims? What the NFL is doing is not the answer, and I do not agree with their policy. But to not properly respect the police officers who keep us safe daily is completely unjust. Stephen Talenti
Cover the cops too II
Massapequa Park, L.I.: Thank you, Daily News, for your wonderful cover on Thursday showing how the NFL dishonors the flag by penalizing players for taking a knee during the national anthem. Now follow it up with a similar cover naming all the police officers who have been killed in the line of duty by thugs and gangsters. Sorry to say, but you will need more than one cover. Raymond P. Moran
Hallandale Beach, Fla.: Many NFL players and personnel kneeled down on the ground during the singing of the national anthem before the game. They didn’t pay respect to their flag and their country, and that wasn’t very nice. Now NFL owners have agreed to a new policy, where all NFL players and personnel must stand during the national anthem, otherwise they will be fined. The NFL owners’ new policy does give players the option to remain in the locker room during the playing of the anthem if they wish to comply. I think the NFL should also add a one-game suspension to players on the field who do not stand for the national anthem. That would be a better idea. Paul Bacon
Just shut up and play
Trumbull, Conn.: NFL players will now be given a choice to either stand for the “Star-Spangled Banner” or to remain in the locker room. They should be happy with that. Their job is to play a sport, not to air their political views. If they choose to air their views, they should do it on their own time at a public place such as a City Hall or a public forum where people actually want to see them. Most sports fans don’t. They are taking away the rights of ticket holders by subjecting them to unwanted political views. Joyce Pinto
The wrong targets
Manhattan: To all people who object to the NFL’s new stance on kneeling during the national anthem: How come no one kneels before NBA and MLB games? NFL owners, who have not killed any civilians, are being called racist because of objections to kneeling men wearing their team uniforms. Will NFL players pro-rate their salaries according to lost TV revenues? No. Do any other athletes (tennis, baseball, basketball or golf) kneel before playing? No. Have any of these social reform athletes ever had a mass unifying kneeling on their own time? No. To take out police brutality transgressions on NFL owners is 100% wrong. Protest against those in authority who enable this behavior. Michael Malewich
Not about disrespect
Amityville, L.I.: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league blew it. Goodell had a chance to explain once and for all to the NFL family that the anthem protest as it’s now known is neither anti-flag or anti-military. It’s to protest social injustices against the black community by law enforcement. No more, no less. But instead the league put money above all else. Their decision has nothing to do with patriotism. Lest you forget, the league used to charge the military for those heartfelt family reunions when a family member returned home from duty. While Goodell claims they care about social issues, when you get down to it, like all multi-billion dollar companies, they only care about one thing — money. Chris Carman
More than just kneeling
Carmel, N.Y.: Several months ago I watched our national anthem being sung before a professional hockey game. As is the usual case, several players were Canadians. Whether American or Canadian, most could barely stand still. One Canadian player spit (nervous?) saliva on the rink; others did not place their hands over their hearts. They behaved like 5-year-old boys with ADD. It’s not just NFL kneelers; it’s every sport. Their focus is just get on with the game! These signs of disrespect are disgusting and an insult to all Americans, but especially to our military members, veterans and those who died in service to the greatest country in the world. God bless America, my home sweet home. Sue Mccormack
Manhattan: One of my very favorite readings in the Daily News is the Jumbles. I am not always able to read them, because often the text of what is spoken is black print on dark green. And that is too difficult to read. On May 24, it is black on white and therefore legible. If it will remain like that, it is most certainly something to look forward to. Cecile Low
Looking to find English
Ridge, L.I.: To all the Voicers who seem to think it’s okay to speak any language a person wants to speak, I guess they haven’t left New York State in a while. I’ve been to four states in the last year and thought I was out of the U.S. I tried in each instance to find someone who was “working” to answer questions or directions to. I had to go to at least six to eight people before I found someone who spoke English. You can yell that English is not our “official language,” but it is the first language in the U.S. And if you are going to work and serve the public, if you can’t speak English, you shouldn’t be working that kind of job. Dennis Shivers
Take a walk, Mr. Mayor
Tarrytown, N.Y.: Maybe de Blasio should get his fat behind out of City Hall to tour the boroughs he supposedly governs and see what many of the city public parks are turning into because of his drug policies. As a person formerly from the Bronx, it saddens me to see what is happening to the place that I grew up in and loved. Also, he needs to walk the city without his guards and see what the people living there see every day! Yea, that’ll happen! Carol Culkin