Dolphins owner says he won’t require his players stand during National Anthem

DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross retracted a statement he made Monday night requiring his players on the team to stand for the National Anthem.

The New York Daily News interviewed Ross during his trip to New York where he’s receiving an award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Ross told them, “All of our players will be standing.” During the interview, he said he initially supported the Dolphins players that protested but had a change of heart when he felt it was against “support of our country or the military.”

Ross also told the Daily News, “When that message changed, and everybody was interpreting it as that was the reason, then I was against kneeling. I like Donald [Trump]. I don’t support everything that he says. Overall, I think he was trying to make a point, and his message became what kneeling was all about. From that standpoint, that is the way the public is interpreting it, so I think that’s really incumbent upon us to adopt that. That’s how, I think, the country now is interpreting the kneeling issue.”

His comments to the Daily News contradicted what he said to 7News regarding the purpose for the protest and why he joined players on the sideline.

“I think they all know this is an organization that’s totally, 100 percent behind them,” Ross said on Sept. 11, 2016. “I think today what has been brought up is a conversation that needs to be had, and I think they’re doing it in their way, and I applaud them.”

Although, just before noon on Tuesday, Ross retracted his statement and said his comments were misunderstood.

“I have no intention of forcing our players to stand during the anthem, and I regret that my comments have been misconstrued. I’ve shared my opinion with all our players: I’m passionate about the cause of social justice and I feel that kneeling is an ineffective tactic that alienates more people than it enlists. I know our players care about the military and law enforcement too because I’ve seen the same players who are fighting for social justice engaging positively with law enforcement and the military. I care passionately that the message of social justice resonates far and wide and I will continue to support and fund efforts for those who fight for equality for all,” said Ross.

Ross has been the Dolphins’ owner since 2008.

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