Everyone has a right to protest in their own way


Dear John: Now that we are nearing the end of football season, perhaps it is time for the network brass to recognize two things: Football players are not their employees, nor is a football game a political rally.

If network ratings continue to decline, they will have to reduce their number of employees.

Yes, the players are entitled to their political opinions — and the cameramen, producers, etc., are entitled to do what is necessary to keep their jobs.

To do this, the networks should have all their cameras focused on the flag and not the players when the national anthem is played.

Not only would it show respect for our country, our flag and our troops, it might also stop the decline in ratings that the networks are now experiencing. It also might work to bring back some of the viewers they have lost. L.G.

Dear L.G.: That’s an interesting thought. For the approximately two minutes it takes to sing the national anthem, the cameras would have to stay stationary. Not very artistic, to be sure. But effective.

Here’s my opinion about the whole anthem controversy.

Players have the right to protest any way they choose. Hell, they can pick their nose on camera if they want.

And the customers — both in the stadium and watching on TV — have the right to also protest by not paying for tickets or watching the game.

This is exactly how the free-market system should work.

Eventually, one side or the other gives in. Either the teams and the players decide that they want to keep their customers by stopping the protests, or the fans decide that football is just too darned important to them to stop watching or attending games.

I think eventually the team owners and the players will give in, and here’s why.

There are still only 24 hours in a day. And there are just too many ways to keep entertained in our modern society. Football takes a lot of time, whether someone goes to the game or watches on TV.

It’s easy for someone to find some other way to keep entertained. So ratings will continue to drop and attendance will keep falling if the game becomes too much trouble to watch.

Personally, I haven’t watched a full game of professional football all season. Part of it is a protest. Part is because I found other things to do.

Oh, yeah, and those touchdown celebrations are just too difficult for me to take.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Dear John: It’s been a while since I read your piece “Getting Away With Medicaid Fraud’s No Secret.”

Back in the 1990s, my mother moved to Co-op City in The Bronx. My stepfather had died, and she was lost handling mail, etc. I told her that I would take care of it for her.

On one visit, I noticed a form for reimbursement of utilities payments if you are on Medicaid.

Living in Co-op City, you do not pay for utilities. I said, “Mom, you know you are not eligible for this,” and she answered, “I know, but my social worker told me everyone is doing it.”

Can you imagine that? B.A.

Dear B.A.: What can I say? If Medicaid isn’t even checking to see if people qualify for a benefit, is it any wonder people are cheating?

Hopefully someone has caught onto this by now. If not, maybe Albany will get on it after they read this — but don’t count on it.

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