Last year, the Jacksonville Jaguars were the first National Football League (NFL) team to have members kneeling down in protest during the playing of the national anthem. This year, it’s another Florida football team that takes center stage on the matter–the Miami Dolphins.
Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt during the anthem before Sunday’s home game against the Tennessee Titans.
The Washington Examiner reports the Dolphin players were the first players to protest the anthem in the new NFL regular season.
Last month, the Dolphins had their preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Stills and Wilson kneel during the national anthem then. This caused a major uproar after the Broward County Police Benevolent Association offered their members discounts to a Dolphins game.
According to the PBA, the Dolphins franchise claimed it was going to honor first responders. The Broward County PBA took that as an understanding that the Dolphins organization would require their players to stand for the national anthem but that did not occur at the teams preseason opener.
USA Today reported that the two wide receivers would not stand during “The Star Spangled Banner” in the preseason and indicated they would continue to protest during the regular season.
ESPN reporter Cameron Wolfe reported the players were protesting social injustice and police brutality.
With NFL ratings down more than 10 percent, businesses are feeling the impact. Papa John’s noted they lost about 10 percent of their business due to the backlash of players kneeling down during the national anthem.
The NFL has decided not to deal with how to handle protests until after the 2018-2019 football season.
Contact Ed at Ed.Dean@FloridaDaily.com.