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Volume 27 No. 5
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Dolphins' Brian Flores Says Stephen Ross "Supportive" Of Video

Dolphins coach Brian Flores on Friday said team owner Stephen Ross "was supportive" of the video released Thursday night in which the team announced they would not be on the field for the national anthem for Sunday's season opener, according to Beasley & Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD. The "unplanned news conference" was held to discuss the video in which Flores and several players "criticized the NFL’s response to systemic oppression and the resulting civil unrest." It was speculated Ross was the target of the message in the video, but Flores said, "It was directed at everyone. I think every individual in this country can do a little bit more. ... We can all do better. We need to do better. What’s happening in this country and around the world, we need change. It’s something we’ve been saying for a long time. The video speaks for itself.” He pointed out that the video "was player-written and -driven." Flores said he agreed to participate because “they knew where I stand on a lot of these issues” (MIAMI HERALD, 9/11).

POWERFUL DELIVERY: In West Palm Beach, Joe Schad reports the players in the "blistering and powerful two-minute, 17-second video" note they "will stay inside" for both the national anthem and the playing of "Life Every Voice and Sing" on Sunday. Dolphins RB Matt Breida in the video said, "Enough. No more fluff and empty gestures." The players had said this week that they were "working on a unified message and protest." The Dolphins "wanted to make a stand without following along with the plan the league had set forth." Players during the video "criticized NFL owners in general" and "clearly laid out the issues in which they want to see change." Among the issues identified: police brutality, education inequity, courts & prison reform, prescription drug inequities. The players "clearly express their frustration and anger with both the state of society as well as their interpretation of the league's efforts" (PALM BEACH POST, 9/11).

SHIFTING THE CONVERSATION: ESPN.com's Cameron Wolfe noted in the video, 18 Dolphins players -- both Black and white -- "demand that team owners get actively involved in creating political and legislative change." The Dolphins also are the "first team to collectively make a statement regarding protest during the national anthem this season." Players said that they "hope to shift the conversation away from the national anthem to meaningful change." The next focus, with NFL play beginning this week, is to "avoid the movement dissipating amid the distraction that is football." The Dolphins "hope to continue putting pressure on the league and ownership" (ESPN.com, 9/10).