Miami Dolphins to ‘stay inside’ during National Anthem

Sports

FILE – In this Aug. 21, 2020, file photo, Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores watches practice at the NFL football team’s training facility in Davie, Fla. Flores says the team’s new video addressing racial injustice was player-driven, had the team owner’s support and sought to send a message that “we can all do better.” (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

MIAMI (AP) — Black and white Miami Dolphins players and coach Brian Flores released a video on social media Thursday saying they’ll protest racial injustice by remaining in their locker room during the national anthem.

The two-minute, 15-second video featured nearly 20 players trading stern rhymes about the nation’s social protest movement.

“If you speak up for change, then I shut up and play,” safety Bobby McCain said.

The NFL plans to play the national anthem and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” — the Black national anthem — before every game this weekend, including the Dolphins’ opener Sunday at New England. The Dolphins have been asked several times this week by reporters whether they’ll stand or kneel for the songs.

“If we could just right our wrongs, we wouldn’t need two songs,” center Ted Karras said in the video.

“We’ll just skip the long production and stay inside,” tight end Mike Gesicki said.

Flores, wearing a T-shirt that read VOTE, closed the video in unity with his players.

“Before the media starts wondering and guessing, they just answered all your questions,” Flores said. “We’ll just stay inside.”

Flores says the team’s new video addressing racial injustice was player driven, had the team owner’s support and sought to send a message that “we can all do better.”

“I think every individual in this country can do a little bit better,” he said Friday. “That was the message. We can all do better. We all need to do better. We need change.”

Flores said team owner Stephen Ross was supportive of the video, which was posted on social media Thursday. The Dolphins didn’t respond to a request for comment from Ross, and the NFL didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Kaleb Thornhill, the Dolphins’ director of player engagement, worked with the team’s social justice committee to create the video, Flores said.

“That group of guys had a lot of conversations,” Flores said. “Kaleb spearheaded a lot of the conversation. They wrote a lot of what they thought down on paper, and were able to communicate it in the video.”

“I think we’re extremely unified,” said tight end Mike Gesicki, one of the players to speak in the video. “We’ve had a ton of good discussions as a team. It has been productive for us as a team.”

Flores said he also believes his team is unified on the divisive subject of racial injustice.

“The message is to try to create unity, not divide,” he said. “I feel like we’re all on the same page. I hope it’s that way.”

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