BOSTON (CBS) — The NFL tried this offseason to create a more welcoming, understanding environment for players who wanted to protest racial inequality in America. The Miami Dolphins are not impressed with those changes.
The Dolphins will remain inside for the playing of the national anthem on Sunday for their game against the Patriots in Foxboro. They will not be on the field for both the playing of the U.S. national anthem as well as “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” which is commonly referred to as the Black national anthem.
The players released a video explaining their position.
“We don’t need another publicity parade, so we’ll just stay inside until it’s time to play the game,” the players said.
In the video, the players pointed out that the NFL has not followed through on its financial promises to fighting racial injustices in America.
“Whatever happened to the funds that were promised? All of a sudden, we’ve got a collapsed pocket? The bottom line should not be the net profit. You can’t open your heart when it’s controlled by your wallet. Decals and patches? Fireworks and trumpets? We’re not puppets. Don’t publicize false budgets.”
The video took aim at the paid patriotism which took place in NFL venues, for which the NFL was paid by the military to hold ceremonies honoring the armed forces.
“It’s not enough to act like you care for the troops. Millions for pregame patriotism,” the players said in the video. “You get paid to salute.”
The players also said: “If we remain silent, that would just be selfish. Since they don’t have a voice, we’re speaking up for the helpless.”
Former Patriots Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, Ted Karras, and Eric Rowe appear in the video.
The powerful message made it clear that Dolphins players believe the NFL’s efforts this offseason were merely empty gestures.
“‘Lift Every Voice And Sing’ is just a way to save face,” they said. “So if my dad was a soldier, but the cops killed my brother, do I stand for one anthem and then kneel for the other? This attempt to unify only creates more divide. So we will skip the song and dance, and as a team we will stay inside. … It’s not a black-white thing or a left-right thing. Let’s clean the whole bird and stop arguing about which wing.”
#Dolphins players are united in staying inside for both national anthems, united on social justice, and united on demanding less captions and more actions. They seek justice, answers, and real change. A video 👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽 pic.twitter.com/KmtmtdyJbC
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 10, 2020
The video ended with an endorsement from Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. The former Patriots assistant closed the video by seemingly indicating that the players won’t be answering questions about their protest.
“Before the media starts wondering and guessing, they just answered all your questions,” Flores said. “We’ll just stay inside.”