Three Miami Dolphins players have been known to consistently protest the national anthem this season, but now that just might be coming to an end.
On Sunday, the entire Dolphins team stood for the national anthem on the field prior to their game versus the Tennessee Titans, but there were three players that were missing. Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas, and Julius Thomas all stayed in the tunnel while the national anthem echoed throughout the stadium.
The Miami Dolphins forced their players to stand for the Anthem today. Michael Thomas, Julius Thomas & Kenny Stills stayed in the tunnel.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) October 8, 2017
But now, the Sun-Sentinel is revealing why they are no longer kneeling on the field and are, instead, hiding. Dolphins head coach, Adam Gase, implemented a policy on Sunday, October 8 that required players to stand for the national anthem or they can stay in the locker room.
The Dolphins owner, Steve Ross, said the reason for his policy is that President Donald Trump has changed what started as a social injustice protest into a patriotism debate and it's better for players to stand now.
"He’s changed that whole paradigm of what protest is and I think it’s incumbent upon the players today, because of how the public is looking at it, to really stand and really salute the flag.
Whenever you’re dealing with the flag you’re dealing with something different."
Ross stated that this decision was an attempt to unify the team and be an example to others and especially youth.
As previously reported by IJR, ticket sales have plummeted and the Miami stadium on Sunday had thousands of empty seats:
— Charter Club Realty (@Charterclubrlty) October 8, 2017
— Empty Seats Galore (@EmptySeatsPics) October 8, 2017
— Kevin Jackson (@KevinJacksonTBS) October 8, 2017
— Scott B. (@EPLSB) October 8, 2017