The endless drama surrounding NFL player protests during the national anthem always seems to have a Dolphins angle.
And Adam Gase, frankly, seems fed up with being asked about it.
“Talk to somebody else about it,” Gase said, when asked what the team will do about any player who kneels during the anthem before Thursday’s preseason opener. “I’m coaching football, not dealing with all of this.”
Gase also seemed irritated when asking what, if any, instructions he will give his players who might want to kneel.
“I’m not instructing anybody for anything.”
So if Kenny Stills, who has kneeled in each of the last two season to protest police brutality and racial inequality, decides to do so again Thursday, it sounds like he will face no team punishment.
And that is exactly how the league wants it as it tries to reach an agreement with the NFLPA on a policy. The league back in the spring had forbade players from kneeling, saying that those that do could be suspended or fined by their team.
The Dolphins put that rule in writing before the start of camp, but only as “a placeholder” until a more comprehensive policy could flushed out, according to Stephen Ross. Still, the rulebook leaked to the Associated Press, and that nuance was lost.
The firestorm that ensued convinced the NFL to suspend the rule and work with the NFLPA on a new one.
Whatever is decided, it’s hard to see the Dolphins voluntarily sitting down a player for bringing attention to a cause that is important to team owner Stephen Ross.
“I mean, if anybody knew actual rules in the NFL, good luck suspending somebody,” Gase said in July. “It takes about 5,000 things before anybody can get suspended by a club.”
“... I just kind of wait and see what we’re told by the NFL and NFLPA, what’s going on as far as their conversations go,” Gase added at the time. “I wait until we actually start games. It seems like things change a lot.”