Miami Dolphins to stay in locker rooms during the national anthems
During the Star Spangled Banner and Lift Every Voice and Sing, the Miami Dolphins will stay in their locker rooms, they have announced.
A two minute video was released on the NFL opening, where the players spoke about the objective underlying the decision, especially seeking change as opposed to engaging in “empty gestures.”
“This attempt to unify only creates more divide. So we’ll skip this song and dance, and as a team we’ll stay inside,” Dolphins players said. “We need changed hearts, not just a response to pressure. Enough, no more fluff and empty gestures. We need owners with influence and pockets bigger than ours to call up officials and flex political power.”
The NFL had recently announced social justice initiatives, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The Black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” will be played during the opening week of the NFL. However, the players are of the opinion that this is merely fluff.
“We don’t need another publicity parade,” player Bobby McCain said. “If you speak up for change, I’ll shut up and play.”
“So if my dad was a soldier, but the cops killed my brother, do I stand for one anthem and kneel for the other?” Elandon Roberts asked in the video.
The coach and owner of the Dolphins supported the move of the players. “It was directed at everyone [in the NFL]. I think every individual in this country can do a little bit better — players, coaches, owners, media,” said Dolphins owner Brian Flores. “That was the message. To try to misconstrue the message or take it in some different light, that wasn’t what the message was supposed to be.”
The Dolphins plan on donating $100,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Fines and Fees program under their social justice plan. This money will be used to support the citizens returning with past convictions to help pay any outstanding fees and become voters.
Moreover, $2 million will be directed towards providing meals for residents in Miami who are underserved, while at least $1million towards assisting restaurants owned by minorities.
Interestingly, on Thursday, the Houston Texans also decided to stay in their locker rooms as Chloe x Halle and Alicia Keys kicked off the NFL season with the national songs.
The EVP of the Texans, Jack Easterby, stated that the objective of the decision was to ensure that there would be “no misinterpretation of them celebrating one song and throwing shade on the other.”