It’s Week 9 of the NFL season and the national anthem protests remain a hot-bed issue. When NFL owners met last month, it was thought a resolution to the anthem protests would emerge. Instead, there was a lack of initiative to come up with a solution.
The Miami Dolphins, on the other hand, decided to take action by having head coach Adam Gase meet with its players.
From the meeting it was resolved that players would either stand on the field or stay in the locker room during the anthem.
As a result of the decision, Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas and Julius Thomas have stayed in the locker room during the anthem ever since the rule was implemented in early October.
That is until Sunday night against the Oakland Raiders. As the team honored service members prior to the game, the three players decided to shake things up and kneel on the field during the anthem.
Michael Thomas, Kenny Stills and Julius Thomas all kneeling on the end of the #Dolphins sideline
— Chris Fischer (@ChrisFischer07) November 6, 2017
3 Dolphins kneeling during anthem. Makes me sick. military night. Serious. NFL players you are failing badly. Wonder why ratings are down
— SCOTT Thompson (@scottkokomo) November 6, 2017
The decision will not be met with discipline because the players spoke with Gase before hand about the gesture, according to the Miami Herald.
Despite the team rule, Gase made an exception because the players claimed that staying in the locker room “interfered with their preparation for the game.”
According to the Miami Herald, Gase said he preferred the players stand, but ultimately allowed them to kneel because he respected his players’ freedom of speech.
The original decision to stand or stay in the locker room aligned with owner Stephen Ross’ stance. Last month, Ross told the Miami Herald, “It’s so important if that’s what the country is looking at (regarding players kneeling) to look at it differently … It’s a different dialogue. Whenever you’re dealing with the flag, you’re dealing with something different.”
The team’s rule was established after President Donald Trump said players who kneel for the anthem should be fired. The tweet caused massive protests throughout the league as many more players knelt to protest president’s remarks.
Ross originally praised his players’ intentions, but decided their method should be changed.
“I really applaud those guys, but I think it’s different today from the standpoint of Trump has made it all about patriotism with the flag,” Ross told the Palm Beach Post. “I think it’s so important today, because that’s what the country’s looking at, that we look at it differently and there will be different ways of protesting or getting your cause out there by the athletes.”
Ross remained optimistic that his players would find “different ways of protesting or getting your cause out,” he said.
But with players kneeling again, this time with the head coach’s approval, it appears the team’s rule really serves no purpose.
Despite their efforts, it appears the Dolphins have failed to provide a better outlet for players to express their feelings without disrespecting the flag.
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