The comparison seems quite obvious on the surface between the NFL and NHL players affected by repetitive head injuries during their careers (“Deal is reached in NHL lawsuit,” Nov. 13). However, the settlements are remarkably different, at least on the surface. NFL revenues were $13 billion, and up to 6,000 players settled for $765 million, while NHL revenues were $4.5 billion, with far fewer players settling for only $19 million.
Both cases were based on the failure to warn players of the effects of repeated concussions leading to degenerative brain diseases. Both failed to acknowledge any link between sports and brain disease, any liability for players’ claims, and any responsibility for cognitive problems. Further, players were thought to be well aware of risks they assumed, and compensated appropriately for all their work.
Thankfully, due to this increased awareness, football has instigated some rule changes to reduce injuries, and hopefully hockey will, too. But individual compensation settlements of $22,000 or even $75,000 seem so inadequate compared to the injuries here. What are we missing?
MICHAEL TILLEMANS, Minneapolis
WALZ AND WEED
Adding a negative activity is no way to help young people
I was disappointed to hear that Minnesota Gov.-elect Tim Walz is promoting recreational marijuana for Minnesota as a way to bring in extra money for our state (“Walz to take vast agenda to Capitol,” Nov. 11). This at a time when the legal age for purchasing cigarettes is being raised and the negative health effects of vaping are on the front page. Gov.-elect Walz says recreational marijuana will bring money for the state. I don’t think that adding negative activities is the way to help our young people and families. We can do better.
Mary McKee, Minnetonka
Protect the Second Amendment, but consider steps to lessen gun violence
There is a gun problem facing the United States today. Gun violence is prevalent, and Americans are afraid to go to school, concerts or major public events due to mass shootings. However, abolishment of the Second Amendment is not an effective solution.
Guns, for all of the issues surrounding them, are the most effective tool for self-preservation, and Americans should have the liberty to defend themselves. However, the current lack of restrictions on the power and access of guns is leading to massive casualties from gun violence. For the issue of everyday gun violence, mandatory waiting periods between the purchases of guns, a national registry for all gun purchases and more thorough background checks are all steps that could be taken to ensure guns are limited to the hands of law-abiding citizens.
For the issues of mass shootings, clip reduction and regulations on the power of guns, bullet speed, weight, banning of some modifications and other changes can reduce the damage that a gun can do in a mass shooting situation. These policy suggestions are nowhere near perfect, as should be expected from a nonprofessional, but they are at least ideas of some action that can be taken.
TOM PETERSON, St. Paul
The writer is a high school student.
‘WORST TOYS’ LIST
Warnings for kids on toys that might be misused — what could go wrong?
Two articles in Nov. 14 Star Tribune caught my attention — “Hate crime reports rise sharply,” and “Consumer group lists ‘worst toys’ for the holidays.” One of the toys pictured was Hasbro’s Black Panther “slash claw,” featuring retractable claws. In Hasbro’s heroic effort to keep children safe, it offers a warning that the gloves should not be used to hit or swing at people. We know that all children read and heed package safety warnings. Sounds legit to me. What could go wrong?
While correlation does not prove causality, one could conclude that packaging such toys to young, impressionable minds, is at least not a good idea. One can only imagine the moment at Hasbro when a development engineer shouted, “I know what we can sell — nothing says Christmas like slasher claws.”
EILEEN BIERNAT, New Brighton
After 17 years, and great cost in lives and treasure, why are we still there?
Can anyone explain why we are still in Afghanistan after 17 years (“After 17 years, many Afghans blame U.S.,” Nov. 14)? Spending billions and losing lives. What are our goals? The longer we are there, the more they hate us. Face it, the Afghans kicked out the British Empire in the 19th century; the Russian empire in the 20th century, and now us in the 21st century.
RICHARD ZERBA, Blaine
We need transit, and for that we need housing density
One of the most pressing issues facing Minneapolis residents today is the lack of convenient, accessible and integrated multimodal transit (“Minneapolis 2040 helps address inequality,” Nov. 14). Lack of access to great bus and train options disproportionately affects low-income individuals and families, and communities of color. Not everyone can afford $9,000, which AAA estimates is the average cost of owning a car per year.
And if everyone did drive, just think of the traffic congestion, parking and pollution. We can’t have good transportation options if we don’t have the housing density necessary to support it. We need to be able to easily walk and bike to connect to transit. That’s why supporting density in the Minneapolis 2040 comp plan is so important. Density is green!
REBECCA MACDONALD, Minneapolis
THE AMAZON EMPIRE
A view of ‘Northern Virginia’? Not entirely, but you get the picture
Upon just returning to our Minneapolis home, after living in Northern Virginia for five years, I could not help but start my day with a chuckle upon seeing the Nov. 14 “above the fold” Business section photos with the story “A split decision for Amazon.” The bottom photo of “Northern Virginia” is only slightly more indicative of that area than a photo of Virginia, Minn., would have been.
Although technically the photo was taken from the very edge of Northern Virginia, what it mostly shows is the massive I-395 corridor over the Potomac River, with the Pentagon and National Mall on the left, and southwest Washington, D.C., on the right. In regard to Amazon’s headquarters, a photo of the entire Earth might better satisfy the company’s monopolistic ambitions.
RONALD KORSH, Minneapolis
Cartogram would give better picture of election results
A Nov. 12 letter writer explained why an election results map could leave a false impression of “A sea of red land mass lorded over by a blue urbanity.” The Star Tribune could correct such an impression by publishing a map that’s easily available on the internet under a search for “cartogram of Minnesota counties by population.” It would be a service to the community to publish the recent election results and future results using that cartogram.
RAY DILLON, Minneapolis