I am tired of seeing everybody “tip-toeing through the tulips” concerning the NFL and UNM Lobo football players’ protest, for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. There is a right and wrong about this issue that should have been addressed from the very beginning.

It is absolutely wrong for these football players to choose to protest during the playing/singing of the national anthem. This is extremely disrespectful. The football field is NOT the venue they should be using to air their grievance.

These players, like everybody else, have the right to protest whatever issue they choose. However, there is a right time and place to do so.

What I take issue with — next to the venue they have chosen for their protest — is the fact that they are doing it at the public’s expense and time. The NFL football players are showing a great deal of disrespect, whether they realize it or not, to the general public and their fans that pay their outrageous salaries. And as for the UNM Lobo football players, especially those on sports scholarships, they are doing the same. If they feel that strongly about the issue they are protesting, they should go directly to the source of their grievance and protest against them on “their own time and expense.”

The blame for this issue getting out of hand rests primarily and solely with the NFL owners and coaches, along with the UNM staff, starting with their coaches. This should have been “nipped in the bud” when it started. Evidently, they lacked the backbone to take the appropriate corrective action when this issue first came up. The public pays a high enough price to go see these football players perform. They do not go to witness their disrespectful behavior and protest against our national flag, anthem, military and the public in general.

These professional and UNM Lobo football players should have been appropriately disciplined and fined for conducting their protest on “company time.” As for the UNM Lobo football players, their disciplinary action should have included a warning that their sports scholarships would be in jeopardy if they chose to continue with their protest during “company time.”

Although it is a little late, there is still time to take corrective action and bring this issue to a close.

N.B. Castillo