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Newsday letters to the editor for Friday, Sept. 1, 2017

Activists rally in support of unemployed NFL

Activists rally in support of unemployed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick outside the offices of the NFL on Park Avenue in Manhattan on Aug. 23, 2017. Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer

Obama avoided Islamic terrorist label

Isn’t it ironic how vilified President Donald Trump has been for equating protesters and counterprotesters in his post-Charlottesville speech? He didn’t name the various white supremacist groups [“Trump: I called for unity, love,” News, Aug. 23].

Yet President Barack Obama refused to use the label “radical Islamic terrorists” for groups that have killed and beheaded innocent people worldwide.

Stanley L. Ronell, Port Washington

Trump’s pardon of lawbreaking sheriff

It looks like President Donald Trump, who emphasized when running for office that he is not a politician, has very quickly learned how to be a politician [“Trump pardons Sheriff Arpaio,” News, Aug. 26].

Releasing news of controversial or unpopular decisions on a Friday evening and during a vacation period is the oldest trick in the book. The fact that millions of people were fearfully anticipating the arrival of a natural disaster in Hurricane Harvey compounds Trump’s insensitivity.

I guess his chief of staff, retired Gen. John Kelly, couldn’t convince Trump that he could pardon a criminal at any time, not just when people are contemplating a future clouded by fear and uncertainty.

Chris Marzuk, Greenlawn

Joe Arpaio, former sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County, systematically discriminated against minorities and was legally found to have violated their civil rights. Just hours after granting a pardon of Arpaio, President Donald Trump tweeted that Arpaio is a “patriot” who “kept Arizona safe!”

Trump is addicted to airtime and has created a brand wrapped around white nationalism. Desperate for attention and exposure, he writes racist tweets and stages rallies designed to engage his base, enrage his adversaries and cover up his incompetence.

All dictators, as Serbian political activist Srdja Popovic stated in his book “Blueprint for Revolution,” “are baked from the same basic ingredients: corruption, mismanagement, nepotism, social injustice, violence and fear.”

Why do people choose to go along with Trump? They have not found a better brand than Make America Great Again.

Andrew Malekoff, Long Beach

Players disrespect U.S. by not standing

To all of the protesters supporting NFL player Colin Kaepernick, I say go right ahead and gather for the purpose of protesting inequality or police violence [“Rally held for Kaepernick,” Sports, Aug. 24].

You have every right to do that peacefully. But to gather because you feel Kaepernick was subject to some injustice is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard. Part of the reason Kaepernick is unemployed is that he’s not a good quarterback.

However, even if that were not the case — and I’ve seen some head-scratching signings in my long history as a Jets fan — just as he had the right to not stand during the national anthem, every single NFL team owner has the right not to hire and pay him millions of dollars. He’s someone who clearly disrespects the country he lives in and the men and women who protect him and have given their lives for him.

An employee of a company is a reflection of that company. If I owned an NFL team, I would do exactly the same thing. There is no conspiracy afoot, only smart team owners.

Bill Morello, Kings Park

I wholeheartedly agree with the letter “Incensed over players who sit for anthem” [Aug. 20].

In July, I performed the national anthem with my fellow senior chorus members from Osher Lifetime Learning Institute. Our group from Stony Brook University had the honor and privilege of performing at Citi Field before a Mets game.

We were positioned on the field in a way that let us see the players up close. As soon as we started singing, the players stopped their warm-ups, stood erect, removed their caps and placed them over their hearts. Some sang along. Their opponents, the Colorado Rockies, did the same.

There are still pro athletes who show respect for the country in this era of declining patriotism.

Stuart Koenig, East Northport

The LIRR will return to normal? Uh-oh.

The Long Island Rail Road has stated that regular service will resume on Sept. 5 [“On-time end to Penn work,” News, Aug. 25]. That’s a threat its riders should not take lightly.

Gary Urivetzky, Island Park

Upset by image of cyclists sans helmets

As the founder of the Long Island Road & Track Skating Association, I’ve tried to educate the skating and biking public about wearing helmets.

I was shocked to see a picture of a father and his kids biking a Massapequa trail without helmets in the Aug. 16 exploreLI story “Island adventures.” That was exactly the wrong image!

What’s next? Newsday showing people not wearing seat belts? Wrong!

Don Phillips, Freeport