Miami Dolphins

Former Dolphins kneeler on national anthem rule change: 'My opinion doesn't matter'

Miami Dolphins DT Jordan Phillips intends to be best player he can be

Miami Dolphins Defensive Tackle Jordan Phillips speaks to the media after practice at the Dolphins training facility on Thursday, May 24, 2018.
Up Next
Miami Dolphins Defensive Tackle Jordan Phillips speaks to the media after practice at the Dolphins training facility on Thursday, May 24, 2018.

Jordan Phillips is far from the most outspoken Dolphins player on social issues, but his thoughts are pretty easy to discern based on his actions.

Phillips knelt during the national anthem one game last season (the Sunday after President Donald Trump called anyone who did a "son of a b----") and placed his arm in teammate Kenny Stills in support in another.

Phillips and Stills were among players around the league who protested inequality and police mistreatment of minorities before NFL football games last year.

If they do it again this year, their team can expect a fine from the league and the players could face additional organization-imposed punishment. That's based on the league's new rule, agreed upon by ownership Wednesday.

Phillips is the first Dolphins protester to speak with reporters since the rule change, but had little to say on the matter.

"Obviously, my opinion doesn’t matter, so I’m just going to stick to football questions," Phillips said.

Many players surely feel the same way. The NFLPA ripped the new rule, saying the players' union was not consulted.

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

"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 NFLPA wrote on Twitter.

Phillips, the Dolphins' fourth-year defensive tackle, shed (slightly) more light on a number of other issues Thursday.

It all started with sitting down during the anthem, which no one noticed at first. Here's how quarterback Colin Kaepernick's anthem protest turned into a pivotal movement for the NFL and its players.

Phillips called Ndamukong Suh "a mentor" and "was sad to see him go." Phillips will be asked to play a bigger role with Suh gone.

"It’s hard to replace a man like Suh, but we don’t have an option to do it," Phillips said. "It needs to get done, so we’re going to do what it takes to get [it done]."

Phillips said his 2017 production "wasn’t what I wanted it to be. The good games I played, I still did really well."

He would not speculate whether his snap count, which was 30 to 40 per game, would go up this year with Suh gone.

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments