The Miami Dolphins hit the field for their first workout of training camp 2018, and still a dominant story hanging over their franchise in the NFL is national anthem protests.
Sure, quarterback Ryan Tannehill returned to practice for the first time since his ACL surgery sidelined him for all of last year. And, yes, new Dolphins like Danny Amendola, Frank Gore, and Robert Quinn were out there Thursday, aw well.
Dolphins Live: Coach Gase meets with the media. https://t.co/UYwT04Mx7k
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) July 26, 2018
However, “the elephant in the room” remains: what will happen later this season, if national anthem protests, like Dolphins have done in the past, continue?
About halfway into his news conference, Gase was asked about the controversy of last week, where the Dolphins put out new guidelines for possible suspension and “national anthem protests” was included. Now, the NFL and the NFLPA both decided to table talk of suspensions for now, while they negotiate privately.
Still, he was asked about whether a suspension could be an issue for not complying with a team policy on standing and not protesting the national anthem.
“I just kind of wait and see what were told by the NFL. What’s going on as far as their conversations go? I wait until we actually start games. If anybody knew actual rules in the NFL? Good luck. ‘Cause, it takes about five thousand things before anybody can get suspended by the NFL”
When asked where the anthem issue could be potentially divisive for this year’s Dolphins team, Gase said confidently:
I think our guys do a good job of communicating with each other. I think they do a good job of when issues come up, they get together, they hammer it out. They talk to each other. These guys are shy about speaking up. They’ve done a good job as a group. They talk to each other. They talk through things.” Gase continued, “I thought last year, you know, we weren’t as good as doing it as we were the year before. As far as guys talking to each, kind of seeking each other out. I think this group right now? It’s a different group…. These guys won’t shy away from things. I like that they are able to do that and have open conversations.”
On Wednesday, when the Dallas Cowboys reported to their camp in California, owner Jerry Jones made it clear that all of his players would be out of the locker room on the field and not protesting.
For now, we await what the league, the player’s association and teams decide to do. And it’s very likely, that the NFL will leave it up to the Dolphins, owner Stephen Ross and Gase, as to what to do.
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