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Letters: Will the NFL bring back Colin Kaepernick?

MLB's negotiation standoff with the players.
(Jim Thompson / For The Times)

What will it take for Roger Goodell to give more than empty talk? A good start is recognition of an overdue apology to Colin Kaepernick, including full reinstatement to the NFL with back pay. I agree with Goodell that without Black players there would be no NFL. Equally true is that without Kaepernick’s heartfelt use of his platform to kneel in protest of systemic racism, so many others would not be encouraged to also kneel. Knowing full well it could destroy his career, Colin felt compelled to refresh the ongoing quest of African Americans to be part of the American dream. Roger, please get real!

Marcy Bregman
Agoura Hills

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For about 50 years I have had only one true sports hero. When Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali and refused to go to Vietnam as protest to the treatment of Black people he was the most famous athlete on Earth. He had his career paused at the height of his physical prowess. He risked everything for his beliefs and even though he returned to the ring, his prime had passed.

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So it is with no small sense of respect that I now believe the only other athlete in my time to do this is Colin Kaepernick. Other athletes proclaim their unity with him then cash their checks and make Zoom videos. LeBron tweets how he “won’t stop” from behind the gates of his compound and doesn’t offend sponsors. LZ Granderson tries to belittle Drew Brees.

Meanwhile, a solid NFL quarterback was banished for a gesture that is now universally recognized as a show of protest to oppression, not a disrespectful affront to the flag. We don’t have to agree with him to respect his courage.

Jeff Heister
Chatsworth

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Roger Goodell, you can seize this incandescent moment to help this country try to finally eradicate the plague of racism, and to end the police brutality against African Americans that has existed every day of my lifetime. I got a pass just because I had white skin.

You can take a knee.

You can take a knee with players from both teams at the first game. Take a knee and hold hands with them at midfield during the anthem.

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With that simple act, you can immediately influence the national conversation.

With that simple act you will say a million words to the people of this country.

Joe Hoffman
Sausalito, Calif.

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I knew it needed to be said and here is the NFL commissioner saying it: “Without Black players, there would be no National Football League.”

As far as I am concerned, Black people are exploited way down the line, even at early ages, by the love of football and the glory of it. My late husband played football in high school and his back suffered for that all his life. His orthopedic surgeon would never allow his sons to play because of the damage he was a witness to. That is even before the damage that is done to the brain and that research continues in its infancy. To me, it’s condemning to the violence inherent to that sport.

And here is Roger Goodell telling us that without Black players there would be no NFL. Exploitation continues.

Beverly Franco
Monterey Park

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Roger Goodell left Colin Kaepernick out of his “We, the NFL, admit we were wrong” statement because he’s going to announce appointing him as the new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of the NFL. Right?

Matt Lucas
Lake Forest


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Mr. Granderson, If you want to see if you can fit in the tiniest corner of Drew Brees’ shadow as a humanitarian, you can start by personally contributing to the GoFundMe effort on the part of the Black retired cop in Minneapolis who had his sports bar burned down.

Larry R. Nelson
Los Angeles

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Here’s an idea:

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“The NFL is proud to provide a moment of silence for those protesting for racial equality to take a knee or other appropriate gesture. (time elapsed) Now will you all rise, remove your hats and join us in singing our national anthem.”

Louis S. Caric
Huntington Beach

Not playing ball

To the owners who say you can’t make much money through baseball: The cities in which you have ballparks and stadiums should make a fair monetary proposal to take that land through eminent domain, which can then be used as homeless encampments or drive-in movie theaters until we can figure out other productive uses for it, and you owners can then go do whatever else it is you do to make money.

To the whining players: Since, during this pandemic, you’ve felt it was unfair to ask you to play a kids game for the millions offered and are insisting on millions more, canceling baseball will provide you with a lot of free time. This would allow all of you to go volunteer at your local hospitals and help out the nurses and other healthcare personnel who are putting their lives at risk daily. Hey, they might even be able to help you negotiate a salary similar to theirs!

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I’ve played baseball up through American Legion, and been a Dodgers fan since they moved here in 1958 when I was 7, but I’ve absolutely had it with these prima donnas on both sides.

Go Rams!

George A. Newberry
San Pedro

An attorney who represents the family of an ironworker who died last week at SoFi Stadium alleges project safety lapses contributed to the accident.

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Having already had its image irreparably tarnished by the Astros’ cheating scandal, and now with the very public bickering taking place between baseball’s billionaire owners and millionaire players, baseball will need a serious rebranding strategy when it returns. I would suggest a slight change in its abbreviated name, so that henceforth it shall be known as MBL, or My Bottom Line.

Bill Waxman
Simi Valley

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We baseball fans don’t care if these games are played in empty stadiums. Most of us can only afford to make it out to a few games per year. We want to sit safely at home and watch our nation’s pastime. If you don’t love baseball, then don’t buy a baseball team. Give us our game, now!

Mike Muir
Encino

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Hearing a fan say they will never watch another baseball game if the season is canceled is like a high school senior saying they will not attend college since their prom and graduation ceremony was canceled.

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Robert Paris
Granada Hills

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Clayton Kershaw believes it will be hard not to spit on a baseball field this coming season. He won’t get an argument from the fans, that’s for sure.

Allan Kandel
Los Angeles

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Bush push

Talk about bad optics. Just when USC is trying to get over the debacle of cheating to get into the university, they consider welcoming back a cheater while at the university. When Pete Rose is welcomed into the Hall of Fame, only then should Reggie Bush be welcomed back at USC. Does that mean Aunt Becky’s daughter can return to get her USC degree in 10 years and rejoin the crew team?

Jeff Black
Los Angeles

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Finally, his disassociation with USC is reconciled and the great Reggie Bush has been forgiven for that lateral against Texas.

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Steve Ross
Beverly Hills

‘I’m excited to come home,’ former Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush says on the final day of his decade-long disassociation ban from USC.

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The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.

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Email: sports@latimes.com


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