San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneels during the national...

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneels during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle on Sept. 25, 2016. Credit: AP/Ted S. Warren

If NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell couldn’t bring himself to mention Colin Kaepernick by name, then his apology about the right to dissent in the face of racial injustice was no more than disingenuous empty pandering [“NFL realizes it needs to tackle issues,” Sports, June 7].

Goodell always seems to be a day late and a dollar short. He is the same guy who downplayed concerns about player safety after the initial release of a study that showed an overwhelming number of former football players exhibited signs of a degenerative brain condition involved in concussions. I’ve been reminded, repeatedly, that standing during the national anthem shows respect to the soldiers who fought and died so we may be free and that kneeling disrespects their sacrifice.

I believe it is more patriotic to exercise one’s First Amendment rights when fellow citizens are being brutalized on American soil by rogue police. Freedom and liberty are what our brave veterans fought for. Those who oppose peaceful protest aimed at advancing racial equity dishonor their sacrifice.

Andrew Malekoff,

Long Beach

Don’t betray badge of trust

It was deeply disappointing to see a letter from a past leader of the Nassau County Police Department blaming police brutality and overreach on everything other than a cultural failure [“After the death of George Floyd,” Letters, June 2].

Yes, police are subjected to trying and sometimes frightening circumstances, but that is no excuse for a professional to abandon his or her oath. And we are not gleeful, sir, when we see police caught on video bullying or assaulting people. We are frightened and angry.

San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick kneels during the national anthem...

San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick kneels during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 25, 2016 in Seattle.  Credit: AP/Ted S. Warren

A badge is a trust provided by the public, not a license to abuse. An apologist culture, such as that reflected in this letter, explains why this behavior continues and police and society become less safe. I hope the current police leadership accepts responsibility better.

Cynthia Lovecchio,

Glen Cove

Please don’t choose to endanger me

I cannot understand why someone would choose not to wear a face mask with more than 100,000 people dead during this pandemic [“Don’t tell me what I need to wear,” Letters, May 28]. If you choose not to wear a bicycle helmet, the only person you are endangering is yourself. However, your comment that “people should decide for themselves whether they want to wear face masks” is endangering my safety and everyone else you come in contact with. Please be respectful to all around you.

Barbara Doughty,

Bay Shore

Alan Franks must remember that wearing a mask is not just protecting himself but protecting others. It’s a shame that a man of the Greatest Generation has so little thought or care for those around him. As for the bicycle helmet, a little less neck movement should be the least of your problems. Traumatic brain injuries can last forever.

Adrienne Derison,

Flushing

Alan Franks wrote, “I think people should decide for themselves whether they want to wear face masks.” I also am over 80, and I think we should just be grateful that we still can be active enough to wear bike helmets and masks when we’re out. Many contemporaries are not that lucky. Be thankful for your good health and don’t take it as an offense that you are being told what to do. Lighten up.

Arlene Sullivan,

Kings Park

Turning the tables on free speech

According to the First Amendment, the government cannot censor private speech. But now we have the government threatening a private company, Twitter, for pointing out government lies. We have a president who thinks the government can say whatever it wants but can stop the people from criticizing his claim of free speech. How did our country get turned so upside down and inside out?

Dennis Dunne,

Selden

Trump is right about Twitter limits

As an instructor at the NYPD Police Academy, I taught recruits that freedom of speech is not “unfettered,” and you can’t falsely shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater to cause a panic. I agree with President Donald Trump that Twitter should be held liable for restricting the free speech of American citizens who might disagree with them and other liberal-leaning Silicon Valley tech giants [“Trump challenges Twitter protection,” News, May 28].

Jack Coughlin,

Deer Park

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Suffolk County Conservative Party executive committee.