How many newspapers celebrated the injuries to Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Bradford by publishing a photo of them lying on the ground with the opposition congratulating each other over the fallen quarterback? From the sports headline “Left ’em hurting” in Monday’s paper with the photo of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the ground with a broken collarbone and the Minnesota Vikings’ Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter congratulating each other, it makes it look like a deliberate celebration of an NFL injury. No injury should be celebrated, and while Barr may or may not have intentionally tried to slow down the opposition quarterback, that headline portrayed the Vikings as headhunters, looking for the thrill of injuring opponents and celebrating the injury. Maybe the newspaper is suggesting that there was a bounty on Rodgers, as there once was on Brett Favre when the tables were turned on the Vikings during the playoffs.
With all of the traumatic injuries occurring in the sport, I think the headline writer and sports editor would have had more sense than printing that photo with that headline. I was at the game, and most people there were concerned when Rodgers was carted off the field. Apparently, that is not the case with the Star Tribune. Football is a physical, sometimes injurious game. Let’s celebrate the good plays that happen, not the misfortune of one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
Mike Chronquist, Prior Lake
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I was watching the game in a crowded bar when Rodgers got hurt. About a third of the people there began clapping. I know this is nothing new for a segment of the football fandom, but I’m trying to grasp why people respond that way. Yes, Rodgers is now out of the game (and perhaps for the season) but is that a reason to cheer? First of all, I think people are twisted for being happy when they see someone writhing in pain on the ground, and second, setting that aside, wouldn’t you want to beat the best and not have a bit of a hollow victory knowing that if Rodgers had been in there, the win would really mean a lot more? Yes, I know the Vikings were without their top quarterback, running back and wide receiver, so this definitely leveled the playing field. Football is a brutal sport, we all see that. But, if my team wins basically due in large part to the best player in the NFL getting hurt, it’s a nice win, but not a “complete” win, if you know what I mean. I’ve been a Vikings fan since the early 1970s and recall when Tommy Kramer got thrown to the ground and was lying there having convulsions. It made me sick to my stomach. Rodgers shouldn’t be any different.
Mark Wiersbeck, Maple Grove
FOOTBALL AND POLITICS
Why did Kaepernick kneel? (And should we sign him?)
The lead letter on Oct. 16 should answer any and all questions and doubts people have about the whole “flag thing.” The flag is a symbol, and symbolically kneeling to disagree with what it symbolizes is about as American as it gets. The letter writer gets this, and if you were lucky enough to watch Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” and understood it, then you should understand what he means. If you fight and die for a country so that other men can have freedom, why can’t those freedoms so hard fought for be realized? It makes no sense at all. Sometimes the simple truth gets lost when people fearing it would rather believe lies. The real question this country should be asking is “Why was Colin Kaepernick kneeling in the first place?” And, more important, why did he have to? Shame on those who fail to open their eyes to see the injustice that is growing in our society. And woe to those who are being cleverly manipulated by greed and are unwillingly to see lies that parade as truth, loyalty and patriotism.
Tina Landeen, Edina
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With the Vikings now in good position to win the North division, I believe they still need help at quarterback. Case Keenum is doing a good job, but we saw in the Green Bay game what happens when a team lacks a good backup QB. Rodgers may be out for the season, and I say that before the Packers sign Kaepernick, the Vikings should do so for two reasons: (1) Keep him away from the Packers. (2) He eventually could become the Vikings’ No. 1 QB.
Of course, if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is blackballing Kaepernick, that is a case that may be eventually settled in court, but Minnesota should try to get Kaepernick at least for now and through Feb. 4. Not to make this attempt would be shortchanging Viking fans and those with Super Bowl tickets.
Don’t tell me the Vikings are so patriotic they wouldn’t sign the best QB available. And if they do sign Kaepernick, what is Goodell going to do — move the Super Bowl? Fine with me!
Willard B. Shapira, Roseville
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I have a suggestion for a possible resolution to the impending showdown between NFL players and owners (“The NFL workplace: Reality has set in for team owners,” Other Views, Oct. 15).
Instead of players taking a knee or sitting during the national anthem, the NFL, franchise owners and broadcasters should agree to present a one-minute public service announcement before each game.
The PSA would be presented by an NFL player and would provide a summary of the details surrounding individual cases of black people being killed by police without apparent cause. Dealing with cases since 2000 would, unfortunately, provide more than enough segments for several football seasons (black people are shot by police at a rate 2½ times greater than that of white people even though they comprise only 12.4 percent of the total U.S. population (2014) ).
This would be a service for all involved — viewers offended by protests during the national anthem would be spared the process of synthesizing symbolism and reality by being confronted directly with reality. Some may be offended by this direct exposure during a time set aside for entertainment, but hopefully less so.
Players would benefit by being able to directly state their cases rather than counting on viewers to interpret their actions in the way intended.
Owners would be spared possible acrimony that may result from disciplinary action against protesting players, and sponsors could avoid potential boycotts of their products by viewers both in agreement with and against any actions taken by owners.
The article mentions that game viewership is generally waning — possibly an unavoidable response to other realities — but, defusing the anthem controversy may avoid further erosion of viewership and the resulting loss of revenue on all fronts. Moreover, we as a nation could avoid the surprisingly controversial question of whether or not it is patriotic to advocate for less killing in our streets.
Gene Case, Andover
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I have taken a page from the NFL kneelers’ playbook. I have taken to kneeling whenever I hear the national anthem, to protest the self-righteous moralizing the Hollywood and Democrat elites have vomited upon us! (See, for example, Jimmy Kimmel’s “What’s in my pants?” “comedy” bit.) I know that this action (kneeling) is the only way I am able to have my voice heard — even though it’s pretty much my wife and I alone in our living room. My kneeling is truly not about the national anthem or veterans or any of that. I am kneeling specifically to raise awareness of the filthy, repugnant behavior throughout Hollywood and then the heavy-handed moralizing we (Americans) have to endure from Hollywood et al.
Rick Dischinger, Minneapolis