NFL national anthem protest: Dolphins’ Kenny Stills kneeling

Sept 09, 2018
Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills (10) takes a knee during the national anthem at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on September 9, 2018. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Three Miami Dolphins continued to protest social injustice by taking action during the national anthem on Sunday.

Wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson took a knee and defensive end Robert Quinn raised a fist prior to the Dolphins’ season-opener against Tennessee.

Stills said this week that the NFL should have taken the same supportive stand as Nike took in a just-launched Colin Kaepernick advertising campaign.

“I feel like the NFL could’ve done a better job of controlling the narrative from the beginning,” Stills said. “If the NFL would have done something like Nike did — some type of campaign, explaining this whole situation, having his back, supporting us, supporting our First Amendment right — then this thing would be going in a whole different direction. I think we’ve made progress but obviously we have a ways to go.”

Stills and Wilson kneeled throughout the preseason. And Quinn raised a fist. All three have indicated a plan to do it this season.

On Sunday Morning, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison. Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!”

Stills was the subject of a recent New York Times story on the subject, illustrating the widespread reach of his actions.

Miami coach Adam Gase has said he prefers to focus on football and will not give any instruction on the matter to his players. The NFL would prefer players stay in the locker room if they’re not going to stand.

But reports on Sunday indicated there is not expected to be a new policy regarding kneeling this season. This is a polarizing issue that seems to have no easy solution able to appease players, owners, fans and sponsors. 

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