Readers discuss the UN, the NFL, public decency and more
Special thanks to The National's editor-in-chief for latest UN postcard
I would like to thank The National's editor-in-chief, Mina Al-Oraibi, for mentioning the UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons in UN postcard: so, where do we go from here? (September 25). It prompted me to dig a little deeper and I found that it is, indeed, a significant advance towards a much safer world. The UAE participated in the negotiation of the treaty and was one of the 122 countries that voted in favour of its adoption back in July. Fifty-six countries have already signed the treaty since its opening day last Wednesday, with more to follow over the coming months. Even some hold-outs, such as Italy, are moving to explore the possibility of joining. Please keep reporting on this wonderful line of action. Perhaps we could get to read the insights of some of the key players, such as Beatrice Fihn, the executive director of Ican, and the UAE diplomats who were involved in the negotiations. By keeping the spotlight on this topic, you, too, are contributing to world peace.
Steve Goldie, Al Ain
Did NFL players have the right to kneel on the field?
In reference to your article, NFL players taking a knee makes UAE fans stand up for race rights (September 26), until the NFL team owners or president come out and strictly enforce a ban on such actions, then they have every right do something as harmless as kneeling during the anthem, a move that is protected by free speech until that point. What you should be appalled by is US president Donald Trump trying to use his presidential powers to silence peaceful protesters. Obviously, the issues they are protesting are not being addressed, so it only makes sense to use their popularity and a big platform, such as a nationally televised game, to make the lesser voices heard.
Jacques Grish, USA
The players have a contractual obligation to stand. About 20 years ago, they weren't even on the field for the anthem. This wasn't anti-flag, although it may seem like that to some. It began as a statement made by Colin Kaepernick against the abuse of power by the police towards African-Americans. The president should not be inflaming this issue, but of course, he has through actions such as name-calling. Silent, non-combative protest is free speech and is protected by law.
Kimberly Whittenberg Dezarn, Abu Dhabi
In my opinion, no employee in America has the right to unfettered free speech in the workplace. People are fired every day for social media posts that offend their employers or customers. The football field is their place of business and should be free of politics. They have every right to peacefully protest, just not while they are at work, like every other working American.
Rick Hood, Abu Dhabi
The backlash against the NFL will be immense. I've cancelled my online package, as have many others. Players are losing sponsors. Cultural appropriation of the American anthem for unrelated grievances is a smokescreen for blatant anti-Americanism. Doing this while the US has troops fighting overseas is unforgivable, in my opinion.
Name withheld by request