Letters to the Editor

Becerra letter: Freedom of speech

There have been many thoughts on the NFL kneel-down. The act can be viewed as anti-patriotic since it occurs during our national anthem, or it can be seen as a right to make a statement with a large audience to take note. It doesn’t take away from the NFL game-clock, the football game still gets played, all four 15-minute quarters. The sponsors and owners don’t take a monetary hit by the kneel-down.

Americans become incensed if the right to bear arms is challenged. “Concealed weapons” is now part of our attire. Diversity councils have been established to ensure everyone — regardless of any differences and/or afflictions — fits in. We have LGBT restrooms thanks to the U.S. taxpayer. We encounter transgender individuals and accept and, hopefully, support their choice.

Since the 1968 Olympics raised-fists protest by John Carlos and Tommy Lee Smith, to now the NFL silent kneel-down, we look at the act as anti-American, anti-patriotic maybe because it is felt as an inappropriate moment to deliver a message. The freedom of speech and expression does not specify a condition. We do not have to agree or disagree with the timing nor the purpose. Yet we should support that right for the expression.

Jana Becerra, Meridian