Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has supported the rights of players to not stand during the anthem. But Ross now believes that the time has come to consistently stand.
Via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Ross couched the issue on Sunday in terms of pragmatism, explaining that if the President and a significant portion of the public believe that standing for the flag is a referendum on patriotism, players should treat it that way. Ross said that President Trump’s comments from 16 days ago “changed that whole paradigm,” prompting Ross to change his views on whether it’s acceptable to not stand.
“I think it’s incumbent upon players today if that’s how the public is looking at it, is to stand and salute the flag,” Ross said.
It’s a surprising comment, largely because there’s nothing Ross can do to force players to stand for the anthem, and there’s nothing he can do if they choose not to. It’s possible, then, that the Dolphins are the team whose players were reportedly told to stand or to stay in the locker room.
However it plays out, it will make for an interesting scene in Miami in about 10 minutes.