Letters to the Editor

NFL players should just ‘play football,’ not protest

San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara, Calif.
San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara, Calif. AP

Regarding “NFL will require players who are on field to ‘stand and show respect’ for flag” (May 23): The NFL is a collection of business owners who set the rules for their businesses code of conduct. They have ruled that honoring America by standing for the national anthem is conduct preferred to dishonoring America by kneeling. Players’ rights have not been abridged since they are in business by choice with the NFL.

When you work for someone, you have a choice: follow the rules or resign. Would you stand and turn your back to your CEO when he or she addresses a convened meeting because you do not support all the CEO’s positions? NFL players who exploit, for their own agenda, the millions of eyes on them at game time are leveraging what does not belong to them – the business of the game.

Many will agree America has social inequities, racism and different ideas about the use of public funds. Dramatizing one’s position on these or other issues does not belong in a business which you do not own, and which does not support such behavior.

Play football. Lobby for your concerns on your own time, in your own place. Many Americans making far less do exactly that.

William Barnhill


Americans ‘struggling’

I hope readers read all the way to the end of “Fed poll shows many in US still struggling” (May 23). Indeed, many who are employed are not employed full-time and therefore have no benefits. No insurance. No sick leave with pay. No days off with pay.

Many have second and third jobs, creating a cycle of exhaustion and frustration at still not making ends meet.

Phyllis Mayo



In “Why our physicians need to know more about nutrition” (May 29), Michael Jacobs expresses some legitimate concerns about food additives, but instead of criticizing the food industry he says the real problem is that physicians are uninformed about nutrition.

The truth is that nutrition education is built into the medical curriculum – for example, it is inconceivable that the causes of cardiovascular disease would be taught to medical students without discussing the role of obesity.

Moreover, medicine is a profession that demands lifelong learning. Physicians are required to participate in continuing medical education so they can keep up with new scientific research, which is why I know how cholesterol-lowering therapy works, although statin drugs were not available when I was in medical school.

Physicians are also expected to restrict their advice to subjects they have kept up with and thoroughly understand. Wouldn’t it be great if commentary writers held themselves to a similar standard?

Thomas B. Cole, MD, MPH


Medicare for All

As a nurse practitioner, I spent my career supporting children with chronic health conditions and their families. Too often, I heard heartbreaking stories from families with and without employer-based health insurance about how they couldn’t afford needed tests, treatments and medicines. They faced a choice between health care for their child and crushing debt.

We have a popular, efficient health financing model in Medicare. Improved “Medicare for All” could provide all medically-necessary care, including dental, vision and mental health services, and cover everyone from birth. By eliminating the waste and profit of the private insurance industry and putting everyone into a single risk pool, we can provide quality health care to everyone for less than we’re paying now.

On Monday, June 4 at 2 p.m., I plan to join many colleagues and concerned citizens at Bicentennial Mall in Raleigh for a Poor People’s Campaign rally with a focus on health and a healthy planet. The Poor People’s Campaign envisions a health care system based on human needs instead of profit, in which everyone has access to health care and medical bankruptcy is a thing of the past.

Patti Rieser, RN, FNP (retired)


Funding ‘obscene’

Regarding “Wake County needs to fund its schools adequately” (June 1): I support more funding by Wake County for its schools and am willing to pay more taxes for that purpose.

It is obscene that schools are not funded sufficiently so that teachers do not need to use money out of their net paychecks to buy classroom supplies.

Michael Rulison