Technically, the list of 2018 work rules given by the Dolphins to their players says that suspensions could be imposed for violations of the new anthem policy. As a practical matter, this doesn’t mean that Dolphins players automatically will be suspended for violating a league policy that requires anyone inclined to protest during the anthem to stay in the locker room.
Per a team source, no decisions have been made as to the punishment that the Dolphins will impose if/when players violate the new anthem policy. “All options are on the table,” the source said.
The team was required to put together a list of rules, and like most work rules, few articulate a clear, set formula for how discipline will be imposed. It’s entirely possible that the Dolphins will utilize progressive discipline in this case, beginning with a fine, escalating to a greater fine, and eventually resulting in a suspension (maybe for only one game), if he continues to violate the anthem policy.
Regardless, the notion that any Dolphins player who violates the new anthem policy automatically will be suspended four games is incorrect. Instead, a four-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team represents the maximum discipline that the Dolphins or any other team can impose on a player.