Ross says he won't force players to stand, despite report.
On Monday night, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was honored by the Jackie Robinson Foundation with its ROBIE Lifetime Achievement Award at a special event held at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. At the event, Ross told the New York Daily News, "All of our players will be standing" in regards to players kneeling during the national anthem.
Additionally, Ross reportedly told the Daily News that he "totally supported the players in what they were doing" initially, but changed his opinion on the matter when he felt the message being sent by players kneeling was a protest against "support of our country or the military."
"When that message changed, and everybody was interpreting it as that was the reason, then I was against kneeling," Ross told the New York Daily News' Christian Red. "I like Donald [Trump]. I don't support everything that he says. Overall, I think he was trying to make a point, and his message became what kneeling was all about. From that standpoint, that is the way the public is interpreting it. So I think that's really incumbent upon us to adopt that. That's how, I think, the country now is interpreting the kneeling issue."
However, Ross has since issued another statement saying he has no intentions of forcing Dolphins players to stand during the anthem. In the statement, which was issued by the team, Ross says his comments made to the Daily News were "misconstrued" and he will continue to support and fund efforts for those who fight for equality for all.
“I have no intention of forcing our players to stand during the anthem and I regret that my comments have been misconstrued,” Ross said. “I’ve shared my opinion with all our players: I’m passionate about the cause of social justice and I feel that kneeling is an ineffective tactic that alienates more people than it enlists. I know our players care about the military and law enforcement too because I’ve seen the same players who are fighting for social justice engaging positively with law enforcement and the military. I care passionately that the message of social justice resonates far and wide and I will continue to support and fund efforts for those who fight for equality for all.”