Bravo to all the professional athletes, players associations and leagues for taking stands on Black Lives Matter [“NHL steps back and joins other leagues in protest,” Sports, Aug. 28]. To me, the most important steps these athletes can take is political and social activism.
These athletes can take two important actions to immediately impact the United States by going into their communities. One, advocate for the U.S. Census. Counting all residents, immigrants — legal and illegal — gives political and economic power to groups often marginalized or ignored. Two, encourage all citizens to register to vote in November. The Census affects the U.S. political framework for the next 10 years, and voter registration and subsequent voting can affect this country in four months.
Athletes are viewed as society role models. What better way to be role models than this?
I couldn’t wait for sports to come back so I could forget about politics for a few hours. Instead sports has become political. Athletes are about to kill the golden goose. They are multimillionaires because they can hit a ball or throw a ball into a basket. Entertain us! Leave politics out of this.
Athletes have a platform from which they can make a statement to the public that most citizens do not have [“NBA players decide to play,” Sports, Aug. 28].
One example is professional athletes choosing not to play games. They have every right to not play in support of their cause, in this case Jacob Blake. What I find bothersome is the selective causes they chose. Their platform can reach far and wide, but they choose to limit its reach.
For example, they mostly keep silent about the violent riots that continue in Portland and Seattle. They seem to never speak about those murdered weekly in our cities such as Chicago and New York. Never a peep about those beating the elderly or about rising crime rates.
Where are athletes such as LeBron James, Aaron Rodgers, Anders Lee and Dominic Smith when an awful crime is committed like the execution of a young boy in North Carolina? They’re silent, of course.
Any “professional” team that decides that it does not want to show up to play its scheduled games because of “social justice” issues, or anything political, should receive a forfeit for that game and be fined and/or suspended by its league. It does not matter whether there are fans in the seats or not. This is a commitment, and, to me, a part-time Long Island resident, politics should not be mixed with the game. I believe many people are not interested in the causes that players feel strongly about. It is not fair to some players who want the game to go on, and fans who are expecting a game on TV.
Palm Beach, Fla.
I finally agree with the players of the four major sports leagues and any other organized sports teams that choose not to play their respective sports until no person of color is injured or killed at the hands of any law enforcement agency. I also think they should be paid in full by the owners of their teams if they are demonstrating for what I see is a just cause. You could throw in most of the members of the Screen Actors Guild, too, and have their studios pay them.
A new suggestion for speedy voting
At 4:15 p.m. Sunday, I placed an online order at Amazon Prime for a new book. It arrived in my mailbox Monday morning at 10:20. Perhaps we should have Amazon handle mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 general election [“Guide to voting by mail or in person,” News, Aug. 30].
World must unite to find COVID-19 vaccine
In 2020-2021, COVID-19 vaccine development must transcend all national and world political agendas and all financial incentives [“Don’t rush the virus vaccine,” Editorial, Aug. 30]. This includes the Trump administration and any other administration that follows as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
As a physician, an American and a caring humanitarian, I propose the following: A worldwide convention of the leading industrial countries, including the 10 nationally recognized top infectious disease and epidemiologist experts, one each from the United States, Israel, Germany, Japan, South Korea, China, France, Australia, England and Canada. They would review and parse data in great detail from the top 10 vaccine candidates. Based upon the data and scientific evidence alone, they would collectively make a fact-based decision on the two best vaccines for the world to produce. These vaccines would be scaled up on a worldwide basis and funded by each country, based upon 5% of each nation’s gross domestic product.
We all need to have skin in the game, but the health and well-being of this planet needs to be based upon the best prevailing and scientific data, not partisan politics.
Dr. Joel Reiter,