The Miami Dolphins have decided to stay inside during both “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing” during the 2020 NFL season, issuing a message Thursday demanding action rather than symbolic gestures in the fight against social and racial injustice and police brutality.
“Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,” traditionally known as the Black national anthem, is expected to be performed live or played before every Week 1 NFL game, among other measures by the league to recognize victims of police brutality, a source familiar with the league’s discussions previously told The Undefeated.
“This attempt to unify only creates more divide. So we’ll skip this song and dance, and as a team we’ll stay inside,” several Dolphins players combined to say in a 2-minute, 17-second video issued Thursday. “We need changed hearts, not just a response to pressure. Enough, no more fluff and empty gestures. We need owners with influence and pockets bigger than ours to call up officials and flex political power.”
BREAKING NEWS: The@MiamiDolphins players will stay inside for both national anthems. They express their discontentment with what they call “fluff and empty gestures” by the @NFL pic.twitter.com/ghUktHhPt9
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) September 10, 2020
In the video, 18 Dolphins players — both Black and white — proclaim they are fed up with “empty gestures” being the result of the current movement for change, and demand that team owners get actively involved in creating political and legislative change. They also speak out about a need for prison reform, justice against police brutality, and an acknowledgment of “millions for pregame patriotism,” which references the NFL receiving at least $5 million from the U.S. military for halftime salutes to soldiers the past decade.
The Dolphins are the first team to collectively make a statement regarding protest during the national anthem this season.
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