Letter to the editor: Madden trivializes injustice

August 22, 2018

Regarding Mark Madden’s column, “Steelers handling anthem debacle perfectly” (July 28, TribLIVE): I am shocked by his trivialization of this national tragedy.

Black Americans are 2.5 times more likely than whites to be shot and killed by police, and unarmed black men are seven times more likely to die by police gunfire, according to The Washington Post. Is it any wonder that NFL players, 70 percent of whom are black, feel compelled to use their high-profile jobs to exercise their freedom of speech against this injustice? However, Madden refers to these protests as “silliness.”

The NFL made $14 billion in 2017, mostly on the backs of young black men. It should be at the forefront of efforts to get this madness under control. Yet Madden suggests that the Steelers have “handled this perfectly” by remaining silent, an action he calls “an acceptable path.”

The national anthem can withstand people kneeling. At least they’re kneeling and not giving the finger. Lady Liberty weeps that Madden would idly watch a game while remaining oblivious to this legitimate and urgent call to action. When did we become so inured to violence and injustice?

I’m sorry, Mr. Madden, that people are spoiling your fun, but that is nothing compared to how the lives of thousands of Americans and their friends and families are being permanently and irrevocably spoiled.

Bill Buchanan

Penn Hills

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