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Return respect to pro football games

DEAR EDITOR:

I have been a pro football fan for many years. I watched the first Super Bowl. This sport is really an entertainment venue with millions of fans (paying customers) who follow their favorite team. The large audience is why sponsors pay incredibly large fees to advertise during the games. TV audiences are enormous. The league collects billions of dollars for broadcast rights. Without this audience, the advertisers would have no reason to pay the fees.

Personally, I used to watch football as entertainment. The game is not a stage for players to express their social issues! “The Star-Spangled Banner” is the only national anthem that should be played. If you choose not to honor it and the flag, you do not belong in the sport, let alone make a mockery of it.

Each of us has the right to express our opinions. If players choose to do so, do it outside the game and off the field. This is an athletic event, not a showcase for your personal issues. Do something about issues you feel strongly about in your hometown, church or any organization where you belong. I do not have to watch your personal protests, and I do not want to.

The gutless owners and commission do not deserve the support of fans. The league takes disciplinary action for off-the-field behavior, but not for disregarding basic citizenship issues and personal agenda expressions on the field! It is common practice to stand and place your hand on your heart when the national anthem is played, but football players are excused. Americans should not condone and support this practice.

As for me, I will not watch pro football until these practices are eliminated. I encourage people not to watch. The American people can bring about a return to the game we have known. Turn it off!

FRANK A. MICCHIA

Canfield

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