November letter of the month: This is patriotism
When did ‘We, the people’ morph into ‘Me, the people’?
I find it hard to believe we have gone from, “We, the people,” to “Me, the people.” We aren’t concerned with the common good. I can’t respect someone’s request to wear a mask, but I will defend my right to not get vaccinated? I don’t get it. Somewhere along the line we have decided that simply flying a flag makes you a patriot. It doesn’t matter how you have defamed the image or what you put on it. No, a patriot defends the Constitution, defends freedom of speech‚ defends free elections and accepts the results of those elections. Disputes will be dealt with in a civil manner. We may be imperfect, but our democracy is the best on Earth. We need to grow it, not destroy it.
Richard Wilke, Port Richey
The Buc stops here
The Bucs will tell us who they are if they keep Antonio Brown | Column, Dec. 2
As a communication professional now teaching the next generation of communication pros, I do my best to exhibit the qualities that I have learned from years of experience to leave a positive and lasting impression on others. Although my interest in sports could not be found using the Hubble Telescope, I have always felt that professional sports figures have that same responsibility. Then I read in the Tampa Bay Times that not one, but three, Tampa Bay Buccaneers players have been suspended for faking COVID-19 vaccinations. What a sterling example of professionalism and care for others these individuals have chosen to set. My recommendation would be to permanently bar them and any other professional athlete in any sport who chooses this cowardly act. COVID-19 is not a game, nor is one’s responsibility to set a positive example for others.
Kirk Hazlett, Riverview
Just fed up
Leonard Pitts reported on the looting in California, Illinois, Minnesota and Maryland, but failed to mention they are all Democratic states that have low penalties for misdemeanor crimes. In fact, California raised the misdemeanor limit to $950. So why should anyone fear criminal prosecution when all they’re going to get is a slap on the wrist and released on their own recognizance? I promise you one thing — this will never happen in Florida. Finally, Pitts again attacks former President Donald Trump, yet has remained completely silent on the current president’s monumental mistakes such as the crisis at the border, Afghanistan and crime and inflation, which are both out of control. And let’s not forget the price of gas. People are becoming fed up. I point to the recent elections in Virginia and New Jersey. Yes, the social contract was broken long ago — by the mainstream media and so-called journalists.
Mark Khan, Tampa
What real freedom is
Every column by Leonard Pitts is important. However, this must rank among his most significant. Let’s be clear, though: He is calling out Gov. Ron DeSantis and virtually the entire Republican Party for shredding the social compact in the name of “freedom.” Real freedom requires acceptance of personal responsibility, not trashing traditional norms of right and wrong because wrong is confused with individual “freedom” and “liberty.”
Jim Smith, St. Petersburg
Just a game
Where Bucs quarterback Tom Brady ranks among the world’s highest-paid athletes | Perspective, Nov. 28
Sunday’s Perspective about highest-paid athletes and today’s baseball lockout Sunday’s Perspective column about the highest-paid athletes bordered on obscene. I don’t begrudge anyone trying to maximize his or her salary, whether in the sports or business world. I love many professional sports, but to dole out an average of $20 million to $30 million a year to the elite players will only get owners into a financial crisis. To project the value of a player 8 to 10 years down the road is a fantasy. The average salary of a baseball player dropped from just over $4 million, to about $3.7 million a year. That means hundreds of average players make well more, in two years, than what I made in 37 years of practicing medicine. Again, good luck to them. Professional sports are entertainment. Big entertainment. Fans pay a lot of money to see games, and TV networks pay a lot to broadcast games. But they’re just games.
David Lubin, Tampa