Miami Dolphins players could face penalties from the team this season if they violate the league’s new policy about kneeling during the national anthem, including, and not limited to, mandatory contract extensions with the Dolphins.
"This really puts us in a tough position," says receiver Kenny Stills, who did not stand for the Anthem most of last season and whose contract is up in 2019. "On the one hand I want to express myself and my opinion that America can do better than what she currently is, while at the same time, I'd like to at least have a chance to leave the Dolphins and compete for a Super Bowl at some point in my career."
The Dolphins ended last season with a 10-6 record and have not won a post-season game since this before 9/11. In a statement to The Plantain, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said that forcing contract extensions on protesting players was a "great way" to keep young and talented players in the organization.
"We want to grow our roster and build around great players like Stills, Julius Thomas, and Michael Thomas. We think the best way to keep those players in Turquoise is through a system of oppressive penalties."
When asked why the Dolphins chose to not offer a contract to Collin Kaepernick, who has become the face of the NFL protests, instead deciding to sign middle-aged dad Jay Cutler, Ross said the decision was purely financial. "We're about to ask Miami-Dade County for a $50,000,000 subsidy to move our training center to Miami Gardens. We didn't want to let politics get in the way of our money grab."