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Letters to the Editor: Yes, hire Colin Kaepernick, but the NFL should also fire Roger Goodell

49ers
Colin Kaepernick, right, and Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers kneel during the national anthem before a football game in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sept. 12, 2016.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

To the editor: Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick deserves to play again in the National Football League after he was shunned in 2016 for taking a knee during the national anthem. Surely there is at least one team owner willing to sign him.

But you know what else the other 31 owners should do? Fire Commissioner Roger Goodell and hire an African American as his replacement.

Let’s face it — Goodell is old school. Sending him packing would send a signal to players and fans alike that football is moving forward with the times. This includes having Kaepernick play again.

Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach

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To the editor: When Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem, many people thought he was disrespecting our flag and all who gave their lives defending our country. But others knew this was not his message at all; rather, he was saying we were not the great country we aspired to be as long as we had racial inequality and did not abide by the principles of liberty and justice for all.

Our president mocked Kaepernick even though he ran his campaign based on the slogan “Make America great again,” suggesting he thought this was not a great country. Today, many would agree that we are far less “great” today and less united than ever.

Let’s do a reboot acknowledging our constitutional framework, within which we stand to do far better. But unless our collective hearts align with the basic tenets of humanity, and we remain focused on a democracy that endures without racial bias, America will fail to achieve greatness.

It’s not a matter of black and white; it’s a matter of right and wrong.

Craig C. Darian, Pasadena

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To the editor: The L.A. Times Editorial Board is just plain wrong on this issue. Kaepernick squandered opportunities he was given to stay in the NFL.

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The bottom line is this: The NFL is first and foremost a business, and if Kaepernick had the talent, he’d be in the league.

Linebacker Ray Lewis was involved in an altercation that resulted in a man’s death, and he came back to finish a Hall of Fame career. Michael Vick spent nearly two years in prison for running a dog-fighting ring for fun and profit, and he came back to finish his career.

Both of those players shared the one thing that is prized above all else in the NFL: They had talent.

Richard M. Meyers, Granada Hills

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To the editor: I can’t for the life of me understand why L.A. Rams ownership has not expressed interest in giving Kaepernick a tryout.

As my wife and I and so many others are turning away from the NFL because of its shortsighted and harmful actions on race and brain injury, the Rams giving Kaepernick the tryout he deserves would go a long way in “walking the walk” in support of Black lives. It would show the country that Los Angeles can be a leader in helping to change our culture.

Why not?

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Roy Friedland, Los Angeles


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