Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has claimed the national anthem policy his franchise was reportedly set to enforce for the new season was merely a "placeholder", while praising the NFL for putting its own new rules on hold.
The Dolphins attracted much controversy when it was recently reported they would suspend players who protest during the national anthem for up to four games.
That followed an NFL decision in May in which the league passed a ruling forbidding players from protesting if they are on the field or sidelines during the anthem, though giving them the option to remain in the locker room if they wish.
Under the agreed rules teams would be issued with a fine if players refused to stand during the anthem while on the field, with the NFL leaving it up to the franchises to decide on a punishment for such individuals.
The NFL Players Association filed a grievance challenging the policy and has since come to a standstill agreement with the league, the NFL deciding to put the new rules on hold while they attempt to find a resolution.
Statement from Owner Stephen Ross pic.twitter.com/cl1mS11HH0— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) July 20, 2018
Ross welcomed that arrangement and said in a statement on his team's own proposed policy: "We were asked to submit a form to the NFL on our overall discipline policy prior to the start of the rookie report date.
"The one line sentence related to the national anthem was a placeholder as we haven't made a decision on what we would do, if anything at that point.
"I'm pleased that the NFL and NFLPA are taking a pause to figure out a resolution on this issue. I am passionate about social justice, and will continue to use the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress."
On Friday president Donald Trump weighed back into the debate surrounding the protests, writing on Twitter: "The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again - can't believe it!
"Isn't it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner [Roger Goodell] must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!"
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