Miami Dolphins to remain in locker room for the national anthem and call NFL’s stance on social justice, ‘fluff and empty gestures’

  • The Miami Dolphins announced on Thursday that they would not take the field for the national anthem before their Week 1 game against the New England Patriots.
  • In a video shared on social media by several national reporters, the Dolphins read out a poem that made clear they'd remain in the locker room for both the national anthem and the playing of "Lift Every Voice And Sing" before kickoff.
  • Players also called out the NFL for "fluff and empty gestures" towards issues of social justice.
  • Head coach Brian Flores closed the video, saying "Before the media starts wondering and guessing, they just answered all your questions. We’ll just stay inside."
  • You can watch the video and read a transcript of the poem read by the team below.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Transcript via The Sun-Sentinel.

Is it authentic? That's the mystery. Or is it just another symbolic victory?

Now, there's two anthems. Do we kneel or do we stand?

If we could just right our wrongs, we wouldn't need two songs.

We don't need another publicity parade.

So we'll just stay inside. Until it's time to play the game.

What happened to all the funds that were promised?

All of a sudden, we got a glass pocket?

The bottom line should not be the net profit.

You can't open your heart when it's controlled by your wallet.

Decals and patches, fireworks and trumpets. We're not puppets.

Don't publicize false budgets.

Ask the pundits, and we shouldn't have a say.

If you speak up for change, then I'll shut up and play.

If we remain silent, that would just be selfish.

Since they don't have a voice, we're speaking up for the helpless.

Millions for pregame patriotism, you get paid to salute.

"Lift Every Voice And Sing?" It's just a way to save face.

Lose the mask and stop hiding the real game face.

So if my dad was a solider but the cops kill my brother, do I stand for one anthem and kneel for the other?

This attempt to unify only creates more divide.

So, we'll skip the song and dance. And as a team we'll stay inside.

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.

When education is not determined by where we reside. And we have the means to purchase what the doctor prescribed.

And you fight for prison reform and innocent lives.

And you repair the communities that were tossed to the side.

And you admit you gain from it, and swallow your pride. And when greed is not the compass, but love is the guide.

And when the courts don't punish skin color, but punish the crime.

Until then, we'll just skip the long production and stay inside.

For centuries, we've been trying to make you aware.

Either you're in denial, or just simply don't really care.

It's not a black/white thing. Or a left/right thing. Let's clean the whole bird, and stop arguing about which wing.

Before the media starts wondering and guessing, they just answered all your questions. We'll just stay inside.

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