Newspaper article News Sentinel

Letters - Don't Discipline Athletes for Peaceful Protests

Newspaper article News Sentinel

Letters - Don't Discipline Athletes for Peaceful Protests

Article excerpt

Preferably at its beginning, President Donald Trump should have addressed the few individual protests of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem in something like the following:

"l encourage our athletes to honor our anthem and flag, although I fully recognize the frustrations of protesters who feel that African-Americans and others do not receive equal justice. I pledge to work for justice under the law, including racial justice, to honor the higher principles of our great nation. Although I do not disparage the right of athletes to protest peaceably in the exercise of their First Amendment freedom of expression, I think we should also recognize that many athletes, as well as other Americans, have sacrificed to support our Constitution. We should seek unity in honoring our constitutional principles as well as achieving justice for all, including racial justice."

Unfortunately, our president failed. As a result, many gladiators on the football field have expressed their frustration and their solidarity with fellow athletes by joining in peaceful demonstrations. We should recognize that they do so not to disparage the sacrifices by those who have died for our country, but to call attention to the need of our country to do better. Football players who join in such peaceful protests and demonstrations should not be fired or disciplined. …

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