The Dolphins won’t leave anyone guessing about their intentions for the national anthem before their season opener Sunday. They will stay in the locker room while Lift Every Voice and Sing, known as the black national anthem, and the national anthem are played.
The team made a statement about social justice Thursday in a powerful video with several players each reading a line. They expressed their discontent with “fluff and empty gestures.”
The video ends with coach Brian Flores throwing down the hammer: “Before the media starts wondering and guessing, they answered all your questions. We’ll just stay inside.”
“Is it authentic? That’s the mystery,” the video begins. “Or is it just another symbolic victory? Now there’s two anthems. Do we kneel? Do we stand? If we could just right our wrongs we wouldn’t need two songs. We don’t need another publicity parade. So we’ll just stay inside until it’s time to play the game.
“Whatever happened to the fund that were promised? All of a sudden, we’ve got a glass pocket. The bottom line should not be the net profit. You can’t open your heart when it’s controlled by your wallet. Decals and patches, fireworks and trumpets, we’re not puppets. Don’t publicize false budgets. Ask the pundits and we shouldn’t have a say. If you speak up for change, then I’ll shut up and play. If we remain silent, that would just be selfish. Since they don’t have a voice, we’re speaking up for the helpless. It’s not enough to act like you care for the troops. Millions get paid for patriotism. You get paid to salute. Lift Every Voice and Sing is just a way to save face. Lose the mask and stop hiding the real game face. So if my dad was a solider but the cops killed my brother, do I stand for one anthem and then kneel for the another? This attempt to unify only creates more divide. So we’ll skip this song and dance, and as a team we’ll stay inside. We need changed hearts, not just a response to pressure. Enough. No more fluff and empty gestures. We need owners with influence and pockets bigger than ours to call up officials and flex political power. When education is not determined by where we reside, and we have the means to purchase what the doctor prescribed and you fight for prison reform and innocent lives, and you repair the communities that were tossed to the side, and you admit you gained from it and you swallowed your pride, and when greed is not the compass but love is the guide and when the courts don’t punish skin color but punish the crime, until then we’ll just skip the long production and stay inside. For centuries, we’ve been trying to make you aware. Either you’re in denial or just simply don’t really care. It’s not a black, white thing. Or a left, right thing. Let’s clean the whole bird and stop arguing about which wing.”
After a long pause, Flores delivers his line, while wearing a “Vote” shirt.
New Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones hinted at the video earlier this week, saying, “Our team has something coming.”