Gase met with reporters after the Dolphins opened training camp Thursday in Davie, Fla. He was asked a few questions before the topic of the protests surfaced. Last season, Dolphins stars Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas and Julius Thomas were among the players kneeling before games in protest of policy brutality and racial inequality.
Ross also said that he had no intention of forcing players to stand, but called kneeling during the anthem an “ineffective tactic.”
The Dolphins 2018 rulebook included a clause that said players who protest could be suspended for up to four games next season. Ross later clarified that the rule was a “placeholder” and that the Dolphins still needed to implement a policy before camp began.
Gase said he typically waits to see what the team is told to do by the NFL and the NFLPA.
“If anyone knew the actual rules of the NFL, good luck suspending somebody because it takes about 5,000 things before anybody can be suspended by a club,” Gase said.
Miami Dolphins players lock arms during introductions prior to playing the New York Jets on September 24 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. UPI File photo.
The third-year coach said his team does a “good job of communicating with each other” when issues come up. He said players have meetings to “hammer it out” on specific issues.
“These guys aren’t shy about speaking up,” Gase said. “And they’ve done a good job of making sure that as a group they talk through things. Not just that, other issues always come up and … Last year, I thought we weren’t as good at doing it as we were the year before as far as guys talking to each other and kinda seeking each other out. I think this group right now it’s a different group. They won’t shy away from things. I like that they are able to do that.”
Stills, 26, is entering his sixth NFL season and fourth season with the Dolphins. He spent his offseason touring the United States, riding through Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and elsewhere in the name of social justice and equality. He also went to New Orleans to meet with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback — and the protest originator — Colin Kaepernick at the Know Your Rights camp.
Last month I took a road trip through the south to see the work being done in the fight for equality and social justice. Didn’t spend much time on my phone because I wanted to be fully in the moment.
Here’s a mini-journal of the things that went down (THREAD) —
— Kenny Stills (@KSTiLLS) March 7, 2018
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Wednesday that his players will stand for the anthem in 2018, regardless of the NFL’s policy. Stills said he “wouldn’t expect anything different” from Jones. He also said he didn’t think the NFL should have a policy relating to the anthem.
“We’ve gotta clean up how things are looking and I think we have a really good understanding of where we’re at. Hopefully with this time suspending what they have suspended, they can figure something out and things can be a little bit more clear for everybody.
“Obviously I’d like to see there be no policy at all and guys have a choice to go out there and do what they want to. We can support each other and the decisions we want to make.”