The Miami Dolphins released a video announcing their decision to remain inside during both The Star-Spangled Banner and the Black national anthem. This comes as a response to the NFL rule that players may remain in the locker room if they choose not to stand for the anthem.
In the poetic video that is paired with no music and a dimly lit studio, head coach Brian Flores referencing that no more questions are necessary. The video makes the team’s stance clear, so “the media” does not need to “wonder” or “guess”. He concludes with summed up remarks: “Before the media starts wondering and guessing, we just answered all your questions. We’ll just stay inside.”
The just over two-minute video goes over many different issues, ranging from education reform to “publicity parades” to prison reform. The team members clarify: “It’s not a black/white thing. Or a left/right thing” They want unity and equality as a whole, regardless of the color of your skin or which way you vote.
Players mention the main intention of the video: what to do during the, now two, national anthems that play pre-game. “There are two anthems. Do we kneel or do we stand? / If we could just right our wrongs, we wouldn’t need two songs,” they say. Furthermore, they say the addition of a second anthem is a way to “save face,” saying “Lift Every Voice And Sing?’ It’s just a way to save face.”
Another line surely alludes to athletes being told to silence their opinions, like the “shut up and dribble” incident between Lebron James and Laura Ingraham. The Miami Dolphins’ video shows players saying, “If you speak up for change, then I’ll shut up and play. If we remain silent, that would just be selfish.” They prompt the people who tell athletes to keep their opinions quiet, to speak for change, rather than promote more hate. The players say it would be selfish if they chose not to use their visible platform for societal change.
They explain their decision to stand together as a team and make a single, united decision. Players in the video say, “We don’t need another publicity parade. So we’ll just stay inside. Until it’s time to play the game.”
The video, shared by Jay Williams, has nearly 40 thousand ‘likes’ and comments of all opinions continue to flood in.
The New Orleans Saints also shared a video stating their stance on the issues. They pledge to devote this season to helping and empowering Black females, in the wake of Breonna Taylor’s shooting. The black and white video mentions their mission to make a “safer, more equitable America” for future generations. They add the team aims to ensure everyone has the opportunity to live “full, complete lives.”
These videos have gained attention following last night’s NFL kickoff in which the Texans and Chiefs came together for a moment of silence and unity. The united action was booed by attendees, and coverage, as well as ranging opinions on the moment, have gone viral. Last night, the Texans chose to stay in the locker room, as the Miami Dolphins plan to do. The Chiefs remained on the sidelines for both anthems.