Dolphins face training facility, National Anthem issues as camp begins

DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - The Miami Dolphins are facing a couple issues as training camp begins.

Even though players and hundreds of fans arrived in Davie on Wednesday for the start of training camp, they may have a change of scenery sooner than later.

“Initially what happened was they said they were moving from Davie and they going to Miramar and Commissioner Jordan and I started thinking about that and well, you know, we didn’t like that much,” said Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert.

Council members from the City of Miami Gardens met Wednesday night to discuss building a new $50 million training facility for the Dolphins behind Hard Rock Stadium. City officials considered refunding the Dolphins $500,000 per year off their tax bill once the facility is built.

Miami Gardens leaders believe the team’s presence will bring more events and jobs to the area.

Gilbert said, “Miami Beach has a beach, they have water. We have a stadium. We [are] the Miami Dolphins, and now we have their football headquarters, too, so that’s what we’re looking at, and I’m hopeful that this will be just another thing that increases the value along that corridor, activity along that corridor [and] creates jobs along that corridor.”

Miami Dolphins Senior Director of Legal Affairs Marcus Bach said the facility that would be developed would be private.

“It will be built with private money. We’re paying our property taxes,” said Bach. “This is the sort of economic development we should be encouraging.”

However, no decision was made at the council meeting.

On Tuesday, Miami-Dade County agreed to increase its subsidy by $750,000 per year, which is something the team said is a good first step.

Miami Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel believes this is a positive sign for things to come.

“We think we’re delivering on what we promised, and we think this is another step forward,” Garfinkel said.

Another issue prior to the upcoming season surrounds a report that the Dolphins executives plan to discipline players who kneel during the National Anthem. Among the punishments, a four-game suspension.

“I’ll just say one thing: It’s called freedom of speech, and that’s as simple as that,” said Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn.

“Guys did what they did to make a point, and I think the point was made,” said Dolphins center Ted Larson. “I think that’s on a person-to-person basis. I try not to get involved. I respect the military, I respect all of the veterans … I stand for the flag, but you can do whatever you want.”

Dolphins head coach Adam Gase stepped up to the podium after Wednesday’s training camp and spoke about the National Anthem controversy.

“I just kind of wait and see what we’re told by the NFL and the NFLPA what’s going on as far as our conversations go,” said Gase. “I just wait until we actually start games.”

The NFL said the league’s policy regarding the Anthem is still being negotiated.

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