Miami Dolphins

The NFL released its new kneeling policy. And these Dolphins remained mum on the issue

Miami Dolphins Aaron Foster (29), wide receiver Kenny Stills (10) and free safety Michael Thomas (31) take a knee during the National Anthem before the game as the New England Patriots host the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016.
Miami Dolphins Aaron Foster (29), wide receiver Kenny Stills (10) and free safety Michael Thomas (31) take a knee during the National Anthem before the game as the New England Patriots host the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. adiaz@miamiherald.com

The Miami Dolphins had no immediate reaction to the NFL's new policy regarding players kneeling during the national anthem.

On Wednesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that players and league personnel on the sideline will be required to stand during the national anthem. If they don't want to stand, they will have the option to remain in the locker room.

Coach Adam Gase said he had just walked off the field after practice and hadn't been briefed on the new policy and therefore offered no opinion of it. The Dolphins said that as an organization, they have no comment on the new policy.

Wide receiver Albert Wilson said he would need to be briefed on the rule before commenting but that he would do what the coach asks him to do.

Last season, three Dolphins did not stand for the anthem for most of the season — receiver Kenny Stills, tight end Julius Thomas and safety Michael Thomas. Of those three, only Stills is still with the team. All said they were protesting social issues, including law enforcement treatment of African Americans.

Several other Dolphins, including left tackle Laremy Tunsil, did not stand for the anthem during the one game immediately following President Donald Trump's critical comments about players who don't stand for the anthem.

Miami Dolphins players and coach talk about the new rule about not kneeling on the field during the national anthem.

The NFL Players Association released the following statement after the policy was released:

"The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new 'policy.' NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.

"The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL's Management Council John Mara about the principles, values and patriotism of our League.

"Our union will review the new 'policy' and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement."

Goodell's full statement on the policy is below:

"The policy adopted today was approved in concert with the NFL’s ongoing commitment to local communities and our country — one that is extraordinary in its scope, resources, and alignment with our players. We are dedicated to continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society.

"The efforts by many of our players sparked awareness and action around issues of social justice that must be addressed. The platform that we have created together is certainly unique in professional sports and quite likely in American business. We are honored to work with our players to drive progress.

"It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.

"This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed.

"We believe today’s decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it — and on our fans who enjoy it."

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