Nov 3, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Mark Walton (22) helmet is seen before a game against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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Dolphins unhappy with ’empty gestures,’ will stay inside for anthems

The Miami Dolphins plan to “stay inside” for both the “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” anthems prior to the team’s season-opening road game against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Head coach Brian Flores and 18 players on the team each spoke a line about why they have opted to sit out the anthems in a video posted Thursday on Twitter. Their intent, they said, was to demand action rather than symbolic or empty gestures in the fight against social and racial injustice.

ESPN analyst Jay Williams released the 2-minute, 17-second video on social media.

“This attempt to unify only creates more divide. So we’ll skip this song and dance, and as a team we’ll stay inside,” several Dolphins players combined to say.

“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 video concludes with Flores saying, “Before the media starts wondering and guessing, we just answered all your questions. We’ll just stay inside.”

Flores said Friday that the player-driven video was supported by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

“I talked to Steve about the video. He was supportive,” Flores said. “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. 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.

“We can all do better. We all need to do better. What’s happening in this country — and really around the world — (is) we need change. It’s something we’ve been saying for a long time. The video speaks for itself from that standpoint. From a message standpoint, it’s that we can all do better.”

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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