Letters to the Editor

Players right to express concerns; Protesting athletes spoiled; Protests have consequences; New word: Hatriotism; Does NFL exploit players?

The Dallas Cowboys, led by owner Jerry Jones, center, take a knee prior to the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. on Monday. What began more than a year ago with a lone NFL quarterback protesting police brutality against minorities by kneeling silently during the national anthem before games has grown into a roar with hundreds of players sitting, kneeling, locking arms or remaining in locker rooms, their reasons for demonstrating as varied as their methods.
The Dallas Cowboys, led by owner Jerry Jones, center, take a knee prior to the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. on Monday. What began more than a year ago with a lone NFL quarterback protesting police brutality against minorities by kneeling silently during the national anthem before games has grown into a roar with hundreds of players sitting, kneeling, locking arms or remaining in locker rooms, their reasons for demonstrating as varied as their methods. AP

Players right to express concerns

Nonviolent protests have been critical to changes that brought American policy closer to American ideals. Protests in support of civil rights and against the Vietnam War were effective, not because the protesters hated America, but because they believed in the principles that underlie our democracy.

We can honor black and white police officers who serve their communities, but we must face the fact that the U.S. has the highest rate of civilian incarceration of any free society and a disproportionate number of those imprisoned are young, black and not guilty of violent crimes. Professional athletes have the right and the responsibility to express their concerns.

Karen Myers, Fort Worth

Protesting athletes are spoiled

Protesting players should ask themselves: If I lived in another country — what would my life status be? — what would my financial status be? America is NOT perfect — but it has been very good to the NFL players!

Protesting players are nothing but tantrum-throwing, spoiled-rotten “children” who don’t appreciate what they have — and only focus on what they don’t have!

I'm wondering just what it will take to satisfy some of the black population in this nation!

I was taught — the more you pick at a wound — the longer it takes to heal! Seems so many are just delighting in the “picking”!

Patsy R. Abbott, Grapevine

Protests have consequences

Yes, football players have the right to protest but that doesn’t mean they can do so without consequences. Their fans have the right to stop going to games, to stop paying their millionaire salaries, to stop watching on TV. When they kill the game let’s see how much they can earn in the real world.

I heard a pundit comment that in Trump’s Alabama speech he said “our country,” which the pundit took to mean “white supremacy” since the audience was mostly white. If the pundit can say that it was a racist statement, it was because most of the player protesters have been black, at least until Sunday. Kudos to Alejandro Villanueva for standing with his hand over his heart to show that he honors the flag and what it represents. He has seen real combat that wasn’t a game.

Clista Hancock, Arlington

New word: Hatetriotism

I have coined a new word for the “patriotism” of those who, like their president, use their free speech to express their contempt for free speech. You know, the “love it or leave it” types who are passionate about free speech as long as no one disagrees with them.

I am a Vietnam vet, and lots of these folks have wrapped the flag around my face for the last 50 years. They are more courageous, more patriotic, know more about Vietnam and the military, worship the troops more. My new word for their type of patriotism: Hatetriotism.

Joe Thompson, Fort Worth

Does NFL exploit players?

As many as 70 percent of NFL players are black. The league selectively exploits them in business in order to win and make money. That seems a scenario from our past.

I wonder if these kneeling players and their supporters are protesting America, its flag, the died-for Constitution or the NFL itself?

Richard M. Holbrook, Weatherford

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