Robert Butler: Whining multi-millionaires
Whenever I stand to sing the National Anthem and to salute the flag I visualize the heroes on Iwo Jima who risked their lives to raise the flag as a symbol of victory to their buddies, many of whom would go on to die in other battles. Now, 75 years later, we have to witness multi-millionaires with their whining self-pitying antics on the football field and basketball court. They are paid millions to catch footballs and dribble basketballs while the Armed Forces are paid pittance, and they whine about how unfair America is? Trump mouths off too much, but he said exactly what I think about this issue. Steven Curry, who is paid $20 million a year to shoot basketballs, can’t make up his mind whether to go to the White House because Trump is such “a mean man, not a nice person.” Why would you want this sissy to set foot in our nation’s house?
Robert Butler, Eagle
Jacqueline Call: Time to reconsider draft?
I am very disappointed to see the NFL players display such disregard for all our military and our country.
I’m sadden that the lives of our loved ones who serve in the military are reduced to an expression of spite they have for one person. Maybe Congress needs to reconsider the draft so everyone understands the significant of “serving” vs “taking.”
Jacqueline Call, Meridian
Keith Carlson: Use public platform to do good
In choosing to use the playing of the national anthem at the start of NFL games as a platform for a political statement, many NFL players are showing disrespect for the flag, our history and the men and women for whom it has meant so much.
They are disrespecting the more than 360,000 Union soldiers who died while following “Old Glory” to preserve our nation and to abolish slavery.
They are disrespecting the many who followed the call and died in the trenches of World War I.
They are disrespecting the more than 7,000 Marines and Sailors who died on Iwo Jima.
They are disrespecting those who suffered the misery of the Chosin Reservoir.
They are disrespecting the more than 58,000 of all races and ethnic backgrounds whose names are on the Vietnam Memorial.
They are disrespecting the many who are serving today to prevent another 9/11.
Rather than make a political point, however just, by showing disrespect to millions of Americans, why not use their power as public figures by pledging to tithe a portion of their considerable salaries in support of groups such as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund?
Perhaps even challenge NFL owners to do likewise.
Keith E. Carlson, Lewiston
Alston Jones: Confrontation vs. conversation
If a majority of Americans felt Donald Trump was a legitimate president, there would be no dispute about kneeling for the flag. He promised as a candidate to unite a clearly divided country but has repeatedly chosen confrontation over conversation with an avalanche of hateful speech, mindless tweets and presidential edicts.
Racial prejudice and social injustice in this country are legitimate issues being raised by the protesters. Reasonable people can disagree over the decision of some athletes to express their First Amendment right in this manner but a president worthy of holding the office would have attempted to heal rather than inflame a serious national dispute.
Trump clearly has no intention of becoming a president for all Americans and will continue to pursue the divisive, confrontational strategy that got him elected. He knows winning in 2020 will require the continued support of white supremacists and many single-issue voters who agree with his conservative views on social issues. Unless Republicans and Democrats come up with qualified candidates in the next election, Trump could win again with this voting minority willing to ignore the broken campaign promises, outright lies and legislative failures of the most unqualified president in modern history.
Alston Jones, Boise
Laura Tirrell: Kneeing as if in prayer
I support the protest of the NFL players on Sunday. They have the right to express themselves in any way that does not harm others. Kneeling as if in prayer for more just policing of Americans of color during the playing of the National Anthem is a peaceful and needed protest. Maybe in the future, juries will stop acquitting police of killing men and women of color because these NFL players educated them about racist policing. Maybe, fewer police will be racist or at least, feel restrained from expressing their racism in the line of duty.
Please do not think that I believe all police are racist. I am grateful for their work every day. However, there must be enough racist police to cause the needless deaths of the many young people of color that we have read about.
Thank you, Colin Kaeperrnick, because all lives matter.
Laura Tirrell, Boise