Price of football glory too great?

Mike Sielski's column was a fair announcement and analysis of the troubling data that has come forth about the brain damage that a contact sport such as football can cause ("Risky business," Wednesday).

As two Philadelphia Eagles said, all the players want is "reliable information from which they can make their own decisions. They are men, with free will." That view places the responsibility for making a critical choice on the individual and neglects the huge influence that the culture and the media consistently exert.

Football players in America are commonly seen as icons of masculinity, and the reinforcing aspects of becoming one are irresistible to many, supported by a host of cultural influences. As is often discussed, it will be difficult for parents to decide whether their children should play football, weighing the potential benefits against the strong scientific evidence of brain injury.

It is also an issue that the media, including the Inquirer, need to concern themselves with — balancing the strong evidence that participation can cause permanent brain damage with the storied tradition and extravagant coverage of this big-money game entrenched in America's culture.

Nancy Porter, Haverford,

Cutting off waterfront residents

The Delaware River Waterfront Corp. has decided to remove the "scissor" highway ramps between Market and Chestnut Streets, claiming they receive little use, but what about the residents of Piers 3 and 5? ("Waterfront transformation to begin," Wednesday).

Also, the traffic study mentioned was done years ago, before the DRWC was successful in drawing thousands more people (some with cars) to the waterfront to visit the Spruce Street Harbor Park and the summer and winter festivals at Penn's Landing. Even if the statistic of 1,200 cars a day using the traffic ramps is accepted, that is at least 1,200 people a day inconvenienced and 438,000 cars a year forced onto other city streets, causing more traffic in an already congested area.
As for the assumption that having a green area in place of the ramps is needed to attract developers, a compromise solution was offered to the DRWC by residents of Piers 3 and 5 and City Councilman Mark Squilla: remove the west traffic ramp and develop that area into a green space, and convert the east ramp to two-way traffic. This compromise would give the DRWC its green space and keep waterfront access to and from Center City.

Unfortunately, the DRWC rejected this solution, which is shortsighted and will result in chaos on the waterfront.

Edward Collins, president, Pier 3 Condo Association, Philadelphia,

Presidential hypocrisy

It must be nice to dodge the draft several times but deny and ban transgenders from enlisting and serving in America's military.

Trump's hypocrisy knows no boundaries.

Anthony Johnson, Philadelphia,

Transgender ban is a ruse

There was much brouhaha about President Trump's ban on transgender in the military. While this is a significant and, to many, concerning move, no one seems to have recognized that what he has done is thrown up this flak to divert all the media buzz from the continually unfolding Russia story.

The media has chased after it like a puppy chasing a ball.

Richard W. Holmes, Huntingdon Valley

Horrors of war

Regarding Stanley A. Levin's commentary about Korea ("A soldier's memory of bitter cold winters," Thursday), years ago, I read David Halberstam's book, The Coldest Winter. That story and Levin's account put me in awe of him and his fellow soldiers, who were thrust into such a dire situation. Poor planning by the government only compounded the wrath of nature.

That they survived is a testament to their courage and refusal to give up in the face of nearly insurmountable odds.

I thank them for their service and Levin for showing the horrors that war brings, even when the guns may be silent.

George O'Brien, Morrisville