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LETTER: Protest column off target

October 21, 2017

The attempt by Abdul-Hakim Shabazz to cast some light on the current “injustice” debate with the NFL and its players is, at best, a distraction [Patriotism, politics and professional athletes, Oct. 9]. At worst, it is just another weak argument to support the actions by the NFL and its players. The NFL argues, along with many players who supported Colin Kapernick, that they are not protesting the flag or the anthem. Unfortunately, Kapernick did, indeed, argue that the flag and anthem represented oppression and brutality on blacks.

There are too many statistics available to support the police brutality argument as disingenuous, but let me just provide a small handful from Chicago in 2015. There were recorded 2,988 shootings of which 498 resulted in murders. Of the 468 murders, eight were at the hands of the police. Facts show that most of the shootings were black on black.

Of the 2,988 shootings, 2,520 lived another day. Why? Because the color-blind police went into the neighborhoods to save them alongside the color-blind EMTs, paramedics. Doctors and nurses thought those lives were worth saving, at the risk of their own. The cost to color-blind taxpayers was $2.5 billion. Two color-blind hospitals moved trauma centers closer to the crime areas in order to secure a higher probability of survival. Imagine the lives saved if you added all of the cities with the highest crime and shooting levels. Isn’t this a discussion worth having?

The NFL and its players should not forget those tireless citizens who are still able to look at life through a color-blind prism and save lives on a monumental scale every day without a protest.

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Richard Sobieray

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