ORLANDO — The Miami Dolphins are excited about the off-season addition of defensive end Robert Quinn, who has 62.5 career sacks.
But is Dolphins owner Stephen Ross OK with Quinn’s protest of social injustice with a raised fist during the national anthem?
“I’ve always believed in players and speaking out their thoughts, as you all know,” Ross said Tuesday at the NFL Owners Meetings. “And I think it’s important that they get the message out as clearly as possible. And really create that conversation. And everything I’ve done has really encouraged them to create the conversation and respect what they have to say. And I think I’ll continue to do that. Because I think that’s really important for the players who have those feelings. And that’s what America is all about.”
Quinn has raised his fist as a member of the Los Angeles Rams for the last two seasons.
“You have a position and a title, being in the NFL, and people look at you a little bit more,” Quinn said last summer, according to the Orange County Register. “You can get people to hear you, especially depending on who you are. It starts with one. One goes to two, and to 20, and so on and so forth. It’s not to cause a scene. For me, it’s about awareness and, in a sense, not forgetting where you come from.”
Earlier this month, Ross issued a statement saying he has no intention of forcing players to stand during the national anthem, and that he believed some of his previous comments had been misconstrued. While in New York City to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Ross told the Daily News that the team’s players would not kneel during the national anthem moving forward.
Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills has taken a knee during the anthem to protest social injustice, along with former Dolphins Michael Thomas (signed by the Giants) and Julius Thomas (a current free agent).
Ross was asked if he would support or oppose a league-wide policy regarding protests during the national anthem.
“I mean I haven’t really spoken with anybody about it,” Ross said. “I haven’t heard of any league-wide policy. So I can’t really say what would happen and what their thoughts would be for that. You know, at this time there is no league-wide policy, so I can’t assume there will be one.”