Not about First Amendment
I’m writing in response to the recent Record-Journal editorial on the NFL Players protesting the national anthem.
It is not clear all of these players are protesting for “social justice.” When 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee during the anthem in August of 2016, only a handful of players on other teams joined the protest. In fact, as the 2016 season progressed and his actions became more publicized, most NFL players did not follow suit. It was only a year later, in September 2017, following another idiotic tweet from the president, that players rallied to Kaepernick’s defense. And so it seems that many of those who began protesting after that tweet did so more to support a fellow player than actually speak out for “social justice.”
The First Amendment does not apply to workplace speech. Many editorials, including in the Record-Journal, take the approach that, “Well, it’s about freedom of speech, that’s what America is about.” But the First Amendment guards against GOVERNMENT censorship. Employers can set rules around conduct in the workplace, and indeed the NFL has a history of enforcing uniform infractions and excessive end zone celebrations. I cannot simply go into my office and begin making “statements” about whatever social issues I am passionate about. Likewise, the NFL players are employees. If they want to protest social injustice (or just protest because a fellow player was attacked on Twitter), they can do so on their own time. Which leads to the final point:
NFL players are uniquely suited to influence positive change. The average NFL salary is $2.5 million, and the majority of NFL players have six months off. This gives them the time and money to personally advocate for causes in a way that an average person could never do. Perhaps every single player who takes a knee or raises their first could use their time and money to make a difference in their communities. And maybe editorials on this topic could point this out instead of just incorrectly dismissing the entire issue as being about freedom of speech.
Chris Shortell, WallingfordDemocracy not for sale
Brett Kavanaugh is the wrong choice to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. If he is confirmed to the Supreme Court, everything that we hold dear as a nation will be at stake.
From a protecting a woman’s right to choose to dismantling the Affordable Care Act, Kavanaugh could be the swing vote that takes away our rights. His lifetime appointment also means he could also cement the Citizens United decision in for decades, giving corporate special interests and mega-donors with extreme agendas even more influence in our democracy.
It’s time to take the “For Sale” sign off of our Democracy. The Senate should NOT vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Sheldon Lubin, West HartfordFestival celebration
On Sunday, August 5, 2018, the Meriden Puerto Rican Festival Committee celebrated its 51st Anniversary. Hubbard Park was transformed into a venue of pride, culture and diversity. The Meriden Puerto Rican Festival showcased wonderful heritage, music and food.
The Meriden Puerto Rican Festival committee would like to once again thank the City of Meriden, sponsors, vendors and volunteers who helped make this day a success. A notable thanks goes out to all who attended and made it an event that showcased the beautiful diversity that Meriden has to offer — one of our city’s best attributes. We welcomed visitors from all parts of the state and nearby states as well.
Our main goal for the Meriden Puerto Rican Festival Committee is to highlight pride and positive affirmation in our culture. Through cultural tents and displays, we teach younger generations about the great contributions Puerto Ricans have made in the United States In an effort to give back to the community, we awarded three Meriden high school students with a $1,000 scholarship for their college needs. Congratulations to Karina Torres from Wilcox Tech High School, Ziemeek Fuentes from Maloney High School and Erika N. Lopez from Platt High School. Congratulations to recipients of the Community Support Awards given to Danny Torres and Pablo Soto for traveling to Puerto Rico to help the victims of hurricane Maria with water-filtration systems; and Yvonne DeAngeli-Fontanez, of Four Points by Sheraton, for her continued support and contributions to our festival.
We hope everyone enjoyed the event, learned a bit more about the Puerto Rican culture, and will support future events.
Hector M. Cardona, Sr., Meriden Puerto
Rican Festival chairman