On Monday night, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross reportedly said that all of his players will be standing for the anthem in 2018. On Tuesday, Ross has revisited the issue via a statement issued by the team.
“I have no intention of forcing our players to stand during the anthem and I regret that my comments have been misconstrued,” Ross said. “I’ve shared my opinion with all our players: I’m passionate about the cause of social justice and I feel that kneeling is an ineffective tactic that alienates more people than it enlists. I know our players care about the military and law enforcement too because I’ve seen the same players who are fighting for social justice engaging positively with law enforcement and the military. I care passionately that the message of social justice resonates far and wide and I will continue to support and fund efforts for those who fight for equality for all.”
Ross explained on Monday that the intended message has been undermined by the fact that the protests have been politically twisted into something they weren’t mean to be. His Tuesday remarks echo that sentiment, by pointing out that kneeling during the anthem “alienates more people than it enlists.”
It’s unclear what was misconstrued regarding his comment, as reported by the New York Daily News, that “[a]ll of our players will be standing.” Maybe it was a prediction and not a mandate. Regardless, it’s clear where he stands on the issue of standing.
It’s also clear that he realizes that his words have sparked renewed interest in a topic that had been dormant for months.