Dolphins owner Stephen Ross gave players the OK to take a knee

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There was some concern among Dolphins players last summer, with a few wanting to support Colin Kaepernick’s protest by taking a knee during the national anthem, but worried how it would appear in the Sept. 11 season opener.

As it turns out, the guy who convinced them it was OK was Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

Dolphins defensive back Michael Thomas told Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post that Ross made it clear to them before that game against the Seahawks that taking a stand by taking a knee was fine.

Thomas said after explaining his concerns to Ross, the owner replied: “I’ve got y’all’s back 100 percent.”

“I remember that like it was yesterday,” Thomas said. “With everything racing through our minds, trying to decide if that was something we would actually go through with, of taking a knee, . . . September 11th — that’s a whole different aspect.

“I saw Mr. Ross come in the locker room. I’m going up to him, trying to explain to him in a way, letting him know, like, ‘Look, we’re thinking about doing this, thinking about taking a knee.’ And for him to stop me and say, ‘Look, Mike, whatever y’all choose to do today, I’ve got y’all’s back 100 percent’ — that’s a testament to what type of person he is, how he truly feels about equality for all, and the efforts he’s made with the RISE program. It’s great to have the owner of the Dolphins have that perspective.

“It’d be great to see more owners take after him.”

The RISE program (the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality) was founded by the owner in 2015 to use his sports platform for social causes.

It continues a trend of conscious stands from Ross, who has also hosted players at a “business combine” this offseason, and was the lone dissenting vote against the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas (though it didn’t stop him from voting for the Rams’ move to Los Angeles the year before).

86 responses to “Dolphins owner Stephen Ross gave players the OK to take a knee

  1. I saw Mr. Ross come in the locker room. I’m going up to him, trying to explain to him in a way… And for him to stop me and say, ‘Look, Mike, whatever y’all choose to do today, I’ve got y’all’s back 100 percent’ _

    Didn’t know Stephen Ross was fluent in jive.

  2. The Fish are now the most disliked team in the NFL.

    The owner is as dumb as Krapernic and I’m going to love watching this backfire on his team.

    Steven G-Ross POS

  3. Stephen Ross has never been a follower. He’s a leader. He needs to offer Jim Harbaugh $20 million a year, and get Miami back to the Super Bowl.

  4. You are a freaking disgrace Ross!!! I’ve been a miami fan for 43 years and because of you not anymore!!

  5. He’s a great owner and many of my fellow fin fans have been to blind to see it because of the mess he inherited and the fact that Parcells destroyed the franchise.

  6. Ross comes across as a doofus sometimes. But he clearly cares about his city, his team, his players, and the country.

    Does that mean he’s always right? Of course not. It’s not binary.

    But it’s hard not to respect his genuine attempt at trying to make the world a better place.

  7. Great Job by Ross.
    RISE sounds like a great initiative.

    But people on this site will marginalize it because it’s widely known that our only concern is not being able to ride in the front of the bus and eating at the same counter.

  8. September 11 was NOT the time nor place for that garbage!! I despise the Dolphins even more for that. Maybe if Ross was here in NY he might have felt differently but I doubt that.

  9. Normally, I don’t like the national anthem played at every opportunity (your own goddam little local game is not of national importance) and so couldn’t give a damn who stands – but I do support it played on dates of national importance (and, ok, at the Super Bowl). Sept 11 isn’t about your little life it’s about remembering victims (of many races and nationalities, btw) and the bravery of our emergency services etc. Jihadis couldn’t care less about the whining of pampered black millionaires over their perceived imbalance in racial profiling etc. Don’t forget the jihadis are far more racist, and would kill you and rape your family given half a chance – so you stand on Sept 11 against that and stand for your fallen fellows, or get out of the stadium before I spit on you.

  10. Ross has quickly learned and become one of my favourite owner by respecting and honoring sensitive topics as such as blackballing cities and states over fundings for billionaires toys – his stand in relocating (oakland) player rights, racism and discrimination (rise), preparing players for after the career (business combine) and let them express themself and stand up for a important cause. I dont get why many people get angry for players taking a knee – taking a knee is not a sign of disrespect, more its a deep sign of care, moxy and a better future, a better america by raising attention for a topic that needs to be talked about.

  11. Just another reason to hate the Dolphins. Ross is as Anti American as the scum bags that take a knee. I wish them all the worst.

  12. Ah, the delicious plight of the hypocritically conflicted. First they love Ross for voting against the Raiders move, now they hate him for supporting kneeling.

  13. ‘Look, Mike, whatever y’all choose to do today, I’ve got y’all’s back 100 percent’

    Guessing ‘y’all’ are paraphrasing there.
    I won’t lie, I didn’t like the kneeling but I recognize truly accepting everything that flag stands for means accepting someone else’s right to disrespect it. Whether it’s by kneeling during it’s presentation or even burning it our fellow citizens are within their constitutionally guaranteed rights when they disrespect our flag as a means of peaceful protest. That said, I am a veteran and a native New Yorker. and 9/11 was not the date to be doing that. On 9/11 every American is a New Yorker and Ross and the players showed very poor judgement disrespecting our flag on that date.

  14. If they paid more attention to catching the ball, Miami would have beaten Seattle. Instead they lost.

    However, it was ok they took a knee…..ok.

  15. Another reason to dislike the Dolphins. Jerrah Jones at least made the Cowboys respect our country. There’s a lot of reasons to hate him, and trust me I understand. But in this case, he’s right.

    Maybe Ross can take a lesson from him.

  16. I think its nice to have an owner who doesn’t just fall into line with the “politically correct” b.s. every other owner spews. I wasn’t a huge fan of Ross in the beginning, but he sure is growing on me. What a great time to be a fin fan.

  17. and the fact that Parcells destroyed the franchise.
    Parcells left in 2010 LOL.

  18. I have to say I’m impressed. It takes some courage to stand up to power. We need more people who aren’t afraid to do what’s right and support our fellow people who are being murdered by law enforcement. BLM.

  19. Interesting since Cancernick has already said he will stand for the anthem.

    Little late to the party there Rossy boy.

  20. lingsun54 said: So the Dolphins owner hates America too.

    Stop conflating hatred of America with someone expressing his/her opinion on a social/political issue. They’re not the same!

    Do you like every American policy? I doubt that you do. For example, do you like the fact that America invaded Iraq for its oil and, in doing so, Bush & Cheney committed war crimes? Does it make you an America-hater if you criticize the invasion of Iraq? No, it doesn’t!

  21. We just can’t go a full offseason without someone on the team causing drama. I swear Miami has to be in the headlines all the time for a, “Look at me” drama-fest.
    Hey Ross, boost your ticket sales even more, hire Kaperschtick.

  22. concord148 said: Stephen Ross it’s time for you to leave this great country. Your a brainless jerk. Get out now.

    I can see that you’re a complete dupe.

    Firstly, not standing during the anthem is not in se being unpatriotic, and vice versa.

    Secondly, “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”. Just look at GWB, Cheney and the neocons. They stood at attention, with hand on heart, every time the anthem was played, yet they were among the most deceitful and corrupt politicians ever (e.g., attacking Iraq based on a pack of lies so as to plunder its oil, while leaving hundreds of thousands dead and injured and the American taxpayer very much poorer). Their acts (as opposed to their image as patriotic Americans standing at attention with hand over heart while the anthem was played) were clearly unpatriotic because they debased America’s democratic principles and dragged America’s good name through the mud.

    Thirdly, blind patriotism is a bad thing. Just look at the Germans during its Nazi years and the Americans during the GWB/Cheney years — most stood silent, in part not to appear unpatriotic, while their leaders led their nations into infamy. Please, people, remember that our leaders are NOT our nation or its principles. They are merely the ones temporarily charged with driving the national bus, and, if they do so badly, we should protest loudly, hold their feet to their fire for their illegal acts and turf them from office at the first opportunity.

  23. And nobody was harmed by ross’ comments or his players actions except for the fragile, emotional, small minded trumpkins. Look who are the snowflakes after all.

  24. Gotta love the hate or is it the jealousy of Ross. He has done more stand up stuff for the players and fans than 99% of the other owners in his short time. The business combine, the Rise initiative,paying for his own stadium, the innovations he brought to the stadium for fans etc. He makes a joke of all the high and mighty owners that keep all that $$$ for themselves. What employee wouldn’t want their boss’ support. No doubt the 9/11 link was of questionable choice, but true loyalty is not hypocritical.

  25. I blame Arian Foster.

    Sometime after becoming a star in Houston, dude completely lost his mind, became an uber-African and started eating vegan. Of course, he also became fragile which is what led him to his eventual release.

    He’s a cancer and what likely led to the kneeling in Miami.

  26. Can we please move on from this topic???? Everyone will not agree on the player’s action. Some people remain focused on the optics of the stance, and some will focus on WHY the players were protesting in the first place. There is a divide in our country, and it appears even conversation would not help a person to see someone else point of view.

  27. I have had season tickets since the early 70’s. I didn’t like Ross’s permissive stance on this subject. I wrote him a letter telling him that I was displeased and explained his rights as an owner, which overruled any perceived rights some players thought they may have had to protest. Both the US Constitutional case law and the NFLPA agreement provided a basis for protecting the team’s image by limiting players on-field antics.

    Ross is a New York Democrat liberal whose twisted logic equates loving Fidel Castro and Che Guevera with patriotism. I am surprised that the weak willed and misguided owner hasn’t offered Kaepernick a job in the front office.

    I still have my tickets, so I can’t brag about having made a protest of my own. I did write that Moron Kaepernick and suggest that he take his money and start a school for underprivileged kids that fed the breakfast, lunch and dinner. A safe place where they could study every day and be surrounded by tutors, teacher aids and teachers that understood the plight of poverty but became successful on their own. I got no answer.

  28. So many racist people still exist u hate this guy cause he allowed his players to stand up for injustice amongst black people and the system wow just goes to show u alot of u are still practicing racism how can u say your not racist and u are ok with black folks but Ur not ok with players standing up for the right of their people to feel protected just like white folks!!!

  29. tonymustam says:
    Apr 4, 2017 8:46 AM

    Did Ross have Jonathan Martin’s back 100%? What a phony.
    He certainly didn’t have Incognito’s.

  30. f1restarter says:
    Apr 4, 2017 8:00 AM
    So now we know that Stephen Ross is a radical leftist, anti-American, hypocritical slave to political correctness.

    “political correctness”??!! Hey, I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    Swimming against the tide, i.e. allowing players to protest; thereby, taking a chance of backlash from fans is the antithesis of “political correctness”.

  31. Great reason to never EVER support the Miami Dolphins ever again. Spitting in the face of 911 victims is not “taking a stand” its being an idiot. The Dolphins are now the Westboro Baptist Church of the NFL

  32. “I don’t watch anti-American teams play.”

    I guess you don’t know American history. We were founded on protest.

    The British circa 1776 –

    “Those damn rebels have no respect for King and country damn them!”

    “Those American fools are anit-British, they should be hung!”

    etc etc

    I may not agree with what they did but whole heartedly support their right to do so. Engaging in a very American pastime of protesting does not make you “anti-American”

  33. People who badmouth Ross are the same people who “respect soldiers that don’t get captured.”

  34. While I disagree with kneeling for the national anthem, as Americans, I support their right to do so. Therefor, I agree with Ross’s decision to allow it. For better or worse (usually better), all of us expressing ourselves as we see fit, in a peaceful manner, is what makes America great.

  35. finsfan4242 says:
    Apr 4, 2017 9:33 AM
    I think its nice to have an owner who doesn’t just fall into line with the “politically correct” b.s. every other owner spews. I wasn’t a huge fan of Ross in the beginning, but he sure is growing on me. What a great time to be a fin fan.
    You need to learn the definition of “politically correct”, disrespecting the flag isn’t.

  36. eagleslayer says:
    The players don’t need the support of the owners to protest.

    They do when they’re doing it on the owner’s time and dime. Most will look uncomfortably away, but any owner that wants to take a stand and retaliate with sanctions is purely within his rights to do so.

  37. harveyredman says:
    “political correctness”??!! Hey, I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    Swimming against the tide, i.e. allowing players to protest; thereby, taking a chance of backlash from fans is the antithesis of “political correctness”.


    It isn’t “swimming against the tide” at all. This type of behavior is extremely well-received with the radical left, the SJWs, the media, etc. So yes, it does fall under the header of political correctness.

  38. When your young players come to you for support you try to help them. Ross has done that and continues to do it regardless of skin color.

  39. Btw, I don’t endorse the kneeling… I hate it. I do respect Ross for the support he’s giving the player.

  40. Kneeling doesn’t mean you don’t support the good things, just like standing doesn’t mean you DO support the bad things.
    Now if you disagree with the above statement and feel like kneeling does show that you disrespect the military, then you also have to agree that standing also supports the awful things.

    The flag represents EVERYTHING in this country, good and bad.

    Support each other in their cause to stand or kneel. Because either way, it shows you care.

  41. justintuckrule says:
    Apr 4, 2017 10:03 AM
    And nobody was harmed by ross’ comments or his players actions except for the fragile, emotional, small minded trumpkins. Look who are the snowflakes after all.

    I wish I could thumb’s up this 1,000 times. Trump supporters are the most thin skinned, defensive, easily offended people in history.

    Attention, little trumpkins- there is nothing American about demanding people leave the country for exercising their rights.

  42. Very sad how this article brings out the racist in everyone. They clearly wanted to raise awareness of social injustice by taking a knee, and these Miami players (Thomas, Stills, etc.) have definitely created something special within the local community and with the local police through Ross’s RISE program.

    The problem is that most of the commenters on this page are outraged that they chose to make a statement on one of America’s most important patriotic date. They made it clear they fully support the troops but decided they would use their right as an American to protest, to bring awareness to serious and very real problem with America: RACISM.

    The racist comments made on here, the statements that Miami Dolphins are not American, that these players have no respect for America, and all other outlandish statements are completely disgusting.

    Open your eyes, listen to your thoughts, and tell me this: Do you see true equality in this country? Are you thinking racist thoughts fueled by anger? …exactly. Now, think how American you sound to yourself. Not very much.

  43. I really don’t know about a lot of you guys. I just watch NFL games to see big guys slam in to each other. Got no concerns over what goes on in between the ears of players besides their game plan. Don’t care who stands, who sits, or who scratches their reproductive organs before games. It’s entertainment via organized violence to me, and expect zero else from it.

  44. Great job by Ross, and this gives a clear sense of his well placed priorities.

    Conversely, you can read on this board some people’s glaringly misplaced priorities by posters who continue to villify Kaep for KNEELING while completely ignoring the fact that he’s given over a million dollars to community organizations that feed homeless kids, help vets, and benefit many others.

    No, but please continue to rant against his lack of (your definition of) patriotism. Let’s stack up what you’ve done for your community versus what he’s done–shall we?

  45. If you choose to kneel, it’s your right. It’s also my right to feel you are a fraud for grandstanding, being lazy and disrespecting others to prove your point. In my opinion, wearing a che guevara t shirt, leaves you with no credibility. Therefore, discrediting the origin of this act. You can stand for what you believe in. Just put some serious thought into it first. It’s obvious Kaep didn’t.

  46. Ross is another DB who believes a false narrative that all cops are racist killers. It would be like saying all NFL players are drug addicted rapist. Stop believing the BS the left wing media is peddling.

  47. Sjw are hate groups. Sure they have the right to be idiots on the streets. And I have the right to protest against their hate, racism and evil agendas. All lives are equally important. Where’s the uproar for injustice towards Mexicans and arabs. They’ve had far worst racism than these whiny insecure blacks who had a black president and millionaire athletes who are the majority in every sport. Cry me a river with the world’s smallest violin. Take a knee to that. This generation is the softest bunch of insecure baby’s who always blame others instead of taking accountability. Our country has turned into a gay laughing stock of the world. I’m embarrassed to call myself an American.

  48. In any other country these jive turkeys would be in prison or dead. Here they’re worshipped for throwing a ball.

  49. Didn’t really agree with the style of protest but they have every right to protest how they choose and not be lambasted for it. As for Ross, after a shaky start to his somewhat qwerky first couple of years of ownership were he completely made a fool of himself he is imo now one of the best owners in the league.

  50. beattention says:
    Apr 4, 2017 6:48 AM
    I don’t watch anti-American teams play.

    Then you need to understand what America stands for. As someone who drove subs under the water to defend this country I am tired of armchair patriots who argue against the First Amendment. Wearing a lapel pin and arguing against those rights isn’t what I fought for.

  51. Well, he isn’t their father. If they want to commit career suicide, who is he to stop them?

  52. This is the USA so if any player wishes to kneel during the National Anthem so be it. But if a patriotic owner cuts you or wont sign you then live with your actions. The owner is an American also.

  53. Make sure what you see on tv is real..

    All of the “tragedies” the past 5 years…

  54. Hmm, wonder how successful he would have been in Cuba or Russia. Seems weird to be disrespecting the U.S. when it gave him the opportunity to be a rich dude.

  55. My favorite color is blue. Your’s is probably another color.

    See how easy it is to disagree with someone and not be offended?

  56. I understand the players, and anyone else, have the right to protest whatever they want. I am very disappointed in the manner they chose to express their views and doing so on 9/11 shows what a monumental lack of awareness they have. I am more disappointed in Ross. It is his team and when on the field those players represent him and his entire organization. He should have said that they should protest on their own time but if he wanted to show support for them he could have said they could do it…but not on 9/11. That was a huge slap in the face to a very large number of fans.

  57. Why are people so ignorant when it comes to Free Speech? They have the right to kneel in protest, and I have the right to point out that there is a 56% increase in murdered police officers over the last 2 years (the true epidemic) as a result of this hateful anti-cop rhetoric that does nothing but pin people against eachother for higher TV ratings.

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