Anthem protest by some Dolphins unwelcome on 9/11 or any other day

Startling that four Miami Dolphins chose to kneel during the national anthem at the season opener in Seattle. Pleased that most of them stood, however. That’s the kind of unity that America showed and felt after 9/11 but it shouldn’t take a special occasion for every citizen to agree on the following.

Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster (34) at Miami Dolphins training camp in Davie, Florida on July 31, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster at Miami Dolphins training camp in Davie, Florida on July 31, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Our country is not perfect in every way. Never has been and never will be. There is a system in place, however, to protect everyone from abuses and it is the best one in the world. Improving on it is a shared responsibility, and that includes holding accountable authorities that can’t be trusted to play their proper role.

(RELATED: 21 of the most memorable national-anthem moments in sports history)

Arian Foster, a new Dolphin and a player who never has been afraid to be provocative, put himself out there by kneeling while the anthem was performed at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field. Same goes for Kenny Stills, Jelani Jenkins and Michael Thomas, players who have been with the team longer and were willing to risk the bond they have with fans. Couldn’t immediately tell from the press box if there were others joining them but there didn’t appear to be.

(RELATED: Photo gallery from Dolphins’ tough loss in Seattle)

Apparently they want people talking about the issue of police violence toward minorities, and apparently Chiefs corner Marcus Peters had the same motivation in raising his fist during the anthem in an earlier Sunday game at Kansas City. After the game will come the opportunity to verify the reasons.

For one player to make such a decision, whether he is a San Francisco quarterback or a Dolphins running back or a Chiefs defensive back or anyone else, is accepting the consequences that come with it, and there will be consequences, beginning with many Dolphins fans so disgusted that a couple of touchdown runs or a game-changing interception return won’t soon calm them down.

Asking teammates to join in it calls on other players to pledge allegiance to the concept of team bonding more than anything else. It’s a mixed message, particularly when other players have different experiences and differing views about the greatness of America and the people who put their lives on the line to protect it.

So again, it’s a relief that the Dolphins as a whole didn’t blow this. Fans who are angry about what Colin Kaepernick has started may soften one day, just as most did about Muhammad Ali’s draft dodging, but the constant in this is a shared belief that America is as good as it gets and disrespecting the flag diminishes the sacrifices that have kept it waving all these years.

The Seattle Seahawks’ decision to stand with arms interlocked during the anthem, most people can live with that because they stood. That is no small distinction.

The response of the four protesting Dolphins, on the other hand, gave the impression that America is so far out of whack that it does not deserve to be honored, even symbolically.

That is so different, and on 9/11, it’s so damaging to anything that the players involved mean to represent.

NFL national anthem: Four Miami Dolphins players kneel in opener

Kenny Stills was one of four Dolphins players to kneel during the national anthem today. (Getty Images)
Kenny Stills was one of four Dolphins players to kneel during the national anthem today. (Getty Images)

SEATTLE–Four Miami Dolphins players, including veteran running back Arian Foster, knelt during the national anthem at today’s season opener against the Seahawks.
Continue reading “NFL national anthem: Four Miami Dolphins players kneel in opener”

Reshad Jones confident in Miami Dolphins secondary

Miami Dolphins free safety Michael Thomas (31) at Miami Dolphins training camp in Davie, Florida on July 30, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Miami Dolphins free safety Michael Thomas (31) at Miami Dolphins training camp in Davie, Florida on July 30, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

DAVIE — The Dolphins’ secondary started training camp as a thin group, but it hasn’t shaken safety Reshad Jones’ confidence.

With cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Bobby McCain on the physically unable to perform list, it has given other young defensive backs opportunities to step up at the start of training camp. Continue reading “Reshad Jones confident in Miami Dolphins secondary”

2016 training camp preview: Will new-look Dolphins secondary be effective?

Dolphins strong safety Reshad Jones celebrates a sack that was nullified by a penalty on the Dolphins safety Reshad Jones (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Dolphins strong safety Reshad Jones celebrates a sack that was nullified by a penalty on the Dolphins safety Reshad Jones (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Note: With the start of Dolphins training camp set for Friday, the Palm Beach Post will take a look at the five biggest questions surrounding the team. Today, we focus on whether Miami’s secondary will improve from last season. We’ll shift to a different question each day leading up to the start of training camp.

The Dolphins’ secondary wasn’t feared last season.

Miami’s passing defense ranked 21st in the NFL, giving up 250 passing yards per game. Miami also allowed 31 passing touchdowns with only four teams allowing more.

But the Dolphins are trying to turn things around this season with a few new faces in the secondary. In fact, Miami’s two starting outside cornerbacks could be two players who weren’t even on the roster last season. Continue reading “2016 training camp preview: Will new-look Dolphins secondary be effective?”

Michael Thomas: Defense was handcuffed, ‘very vanilla’ last season

Dolphins safety Michael Thomas. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Dolphins safety Michael Thomas. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The Dolphins say the handcuffs are coming off.

So too are the gloves.

After quarterback Ryan Tannehill expressed relief that he’ll actually get to play the position with the freedom other franchise QBs have, attention now turns to the defense, where safety Michael Thomas says his unit felt the same kind of constraints under the previous regime, calling the scheme “vanilla.”

“We won’t be handcuffed on defense like we were last year,” Thomas told 120sports.com. “We were limited on how many plays, what type of plays we could call.”

Thomas expressed excitement that the defense now will be coordinated by Vance Joseph under head coach Adam Gase.

Thomas said, “With coach Joseph we’re going to get back to playing football, being able to mix things up, run different types of defenses and just keep offenses on their toes, not be so vanilla where they know exactly what we’re doing.”

The situation under former coordinator Kevin Coyle appeared to affect everyone on defense, including tackle Ndamukong Suh, a perennial Pro Bowl pick who failed to earn that status last year (and would not talk about why). Last fall, one source told The Post that Suh become so frustrated with the situation he took his concerns directly to owner Stephen Ross.

“He wasn’t put in the position (to make plays) like a lot of us,” Thomas said. “I wasn’t put in position to make plays. Because of injuries, I had to play out of position. I normally play in the slot. We didn’t have another safety, so they needed me to play safety, which was cool. I got a chance to start some games — first time in my career, it was great.”

The Dolphins fell from 12th in defense in 2014 to 25th last year.

“We were very vanilla last year,” Thomas said. “It wasn’t all our coaches. They had to work with what they had. So it was very vanilla. Other teams knew it was very vanilla and they went out there and worked their game plan and executed. It’s going to be a totally different product you see on the field this year.”

Michael Thomas to Internet: Don’t make me old before my time!

Get it straight, Twitter!
Get it straight, Twitter!

Of all the birthdays on the Dolphins, safety Michael Thomas can claim to have probably the coolest.

Thomas’ birthday is celebrated by pretty much everybody, because it’s St. Patrick’s Day.Thomas

So when Twitter users took to sending Thomas birthday wishes Thursday, he was gracious.

Then, he corrected them.

For whatever reason, many areas of cyberspace (including the respected Pro Football Reference) believe Thomas was born on March 17, 1989, in Houston, which would make him 27.

“Internet has it wrong,” Thomas wrote on Twitter, adding a frowning emoji. “ … I’m 26. But thank you,” followed by four-leaf clover.

Thomas recently received an exclusive-rights tender for the Dolphins, who consider him a valuable special teams contributor, part-time starter in the secondary and thorn in the side of Tom Brady, who will soon be 39. We think.