Letters to the Editor

Views on Taking a Knee

Dear Editor: I think NFL players should be required to stand during the national anthem. It is very disrespectful for them to kneel or sit down. They can protest on their own time outside the stadium or stay off the field until the game begins.

As for the media, they shouldn’t focus on the players who are kneeling or sitting, but put the cameras on the American flag while the anthem is being sung.

Maybe the league should fine these protesting players.

I enjoy Jim Mancari’s sports columns.


Jackson Heights

Dear Editor: After reading “Two Views On Anthem” (Oct. 7), I would suggest that both The Tablet editorial staff and Father Daniel O. Kingsley are both practicing Constitutional law without a license. Why NFL players are kneeling is irrelevant. The question is whether the Constitution protects their right to do it at their place of employment.

This is what legal scholar Teresa Stanton Collett had to say on the subject:

“I don’t watch football. I don’t care about football. But I do care about Constitutional literacy. Please stop saying football players have First Amendment rights to disregard the direction of their private employers while engaged in privately sponsored activities, which is what NFL football games are,” said Collett, a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. “They have no more Constitutional protection for their expressive activities than I do for mine at my private Catholic university. Any ‘rights’ they have are based on their contracts and employment law.”



Dear Editor: Mr. Kuzniewski (Oct. 14) deflects the context behind the black and brown NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem – which for the nth time is to protest racial injustice as well as police brutality consistently and disproportionately levied against people of color – by using the age-old adage of highlighting the mythicized concept of “black-on-black” crime. That’s like saying crime and violence don’t happen amongst every demographic in this country, and somehow only miraculously occur in disenfranchised minority neighborhoods. Moreover, it’s as if every major city in the U.S. isn’t still representative of the effects of racial discrimination in its ethnic and socioeconomic landscape.

Father Kingsley (Oct. 7) was more than gracious in his brief, yet accurate, insistence of the importance behind high visibility men of color in sports engaging in this form of Constitutionally defensible civil disobedience. I am not a man of the cloth and have less care for the “consequences” of denouncing the outright racial ignorance of the majority when they choose to direct their ill-informed judgment of black or brown oppression in America.

Black and brown athletes are consistently working with the so-called “inner city youth” to empower and connect them. Yes, they are providing the leadership you say is lacking, if only by their representation as success figures in an inherently discriminatory society. And yes, they believe in the kind of values you say are “so critical.”


Rockaway Point