THE DOLPHINS ARE ACTUALLY GETTING THIS RIGHT
As a life-long Dolphins fan, the team has embarrassed me (on and off the field) more times than I can count. This latest story, however, is not one of those moments.
- News first came out yesterday that the Miami Dolphins will suspend players for protesting the national anthem during this upcoming season. If you remember, back in May, the NFL instituted a rule that players must stay in the locker-room if they choose to protest the national anthem, and if they don’t, it is up to the teams to decide what to do.
- According to a nine-page disciplinary document (for the Phins) that was provided to The Associated Press, there’s a section called “Proper Anthem Conduct,” and in it anthem protests are listed as conduct determined to be “detrimental to the club,” which could lead to a paid or unpaid suspension, a fine or both.
- Where the story was reported incorrectly yesterday is that the document specifically reads, “players COULD see a suspension of up to 4 games” not that they WILL see a suspension. Per a team source, no decisions have been made, and all options are still on the table. Well, since then, predictably social media went wild, and then the NFL and NFLPA took corrective measures…The league and the NFL Players Association issued a joint statement Thursday that said: "no new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks" while both sides continue to hold discussions to figure out how to move forward. "The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue," the joint statement said. "In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA's grievance and on the NFL's anthem policy.
People say the rule (possibly) set forth by the Dolphins is "sickening"...it’s really not. It’s reasonable. Dolphins players and others in the NFL found a loophole in the policy of the National Anthem back in 2016. There was no rule set in stone about it that year, or last year. So whether they found that loophole on purpose or on accident, they found it and exploited it, and for a good cause. I have always been on the side of fair treatment, less police brutality, and a justice system that works for everyone no matter their race.
To Stephen Ross’s (Dolphins owner) credit, that cause was noticed, paid attention to, and addressed. At this point, further protests would just be grandstanding. In response to the awareness raised by the players, Ross and Dolphins players created a yearly fund to advocate for social justice programs. So, if the substance of what you're protesting is being addressed, what are you protesting?
This shouldn't be an issue in Miami, because the owner listened and did his part. Given that he's handled this situation the we would hope all millionaires and billionaires with influence would, the last thing any of us should do today is rip the Dolphins organization.
Fact: There are 1,696 players in the NFL. 24 were kneeling before Trump called them “SOB’s”. Even after, the number only climbed to 200. So, while this is a problem the NFL and its fans face, it's still not as bad as it's being made out to be.