After multiple NFL players — including three from the Miami Dolphins — protested in some way, shape or form during the national anthem at their respective preseason game on Thursday, President Donald Trump released a pair of tweets Friday morning once again criticizing them for their actions.
“The NFL players are at it again — taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem,” Trump wrote. “Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love ...
“... Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!”
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Dolphins receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt during the anthem in Miami’s preseason opener against Tampa Bay, while defensive end Robert Quinn raised his fist.
Stills, the most visible Dolphin in the growing number of athletes that have used that moment to protest against police brutality and racial inequality, has knelt during the anthem for the majority of the team’s games over the past two seasons.
“There’s a lot of information out there,” Stills said after the game Thursday. “If you continue to misinterpret what we’re doing, reach out to me. Look at my website, my Twitter, all my social media platforms and you can get a better idea of why we’re doing what we’re doing and maybe you can come to the other side and start supporting us and helping start these conversations.”
The NFL recently suspended its rule regarding anthem protests until the league and the players’ union can come to terms on one.
The NFL issued a written statement in response to players kneeling during Thursday’s games, saying in part that the league has “agreed to delay implementing or enforcing any club work rules that could result in players being disciplined for their conduct during the performance of the anthem” while it works with the players association to find a common ground.
Meanwhile, Quinn and Stills are among several of the league’s players who said they will continue their peaceful protests until a conversation begins and change can start being made.
“This country preaches freedom and unity,” Quinn said. “That’s all I’m trying to do: Preach freedom and unity. Some people can take it and misword it and it comes out another way.
“If you believe in something, no matter the consequences, you stand by it.”