Dolphins owner: Our players will be required to stand for anthem
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Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said Monday that “all of our players will be standing” for the national anthem next season.

Ross told the New York Daily News that, while he originally supported players who chose to kneel during the anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality, he has since had a change of heart.

"Initially, I totally supported the players in what they were doing,” he said. “It's America and people should be able to really speak about their choices.”

Ross released a statement in September calling for "unifying leadership" instead of "divisiveness" in response to President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE criticizing the players taking a knee. Some Dolphins players were among the first to kneel last season.

Ross said that during the 2017 season, he felt the “message” of the protest changed to be against “support of our country or the military” after Trump began speaking out against the protests.


Trump frequently criticized the players who chose to participate in the protests, saying at a campaign rally that if players take a knee, then NFL owners should “get that son of a bitch off the field.”

Trump and many conservative NFL fans said that the protests were disrespectful of the military, and many said they would boycott the league if the protests continued.

“Overall, I think he was trying to make a point, and his message became what kneeling was all about,” Ross said of Trump. “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."

The president repeatedly called for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to implement a rule requiring players to stand. Goodell said at the time that the NFL would not pass such a rule, but in January left open the possibility that the league would consider the move.