AP NEWS

Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks talk possible national anthem protest

September 9, 2016 GMT

The Dolphins season opener will be full of drama before it even kicks off. The team held a players-only meeting Friday in which Arian Foster addressed a potential demonstration during the national anthem, and the Seahawks have already said they have something planned.

Protests began with San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick sitting on the bench during the anthem during a preseason game as a way of objecting to the oppression of black people and controversial handling of police violence. Kaepernick and teammate Eric Reid knelt for the anthem last week, and Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall did the same in the league’s kickoff Thursday.

Foster held the team after practice at the University of Washington to stress the importance of the Dolphins being unified in whatever they decide.

“There’s a lot going on right now in the NFL and everybody has their different feelings and opinions, or different stands,” safety Reshad Jones said. “That’s basically what he told us: Make sure we’re together and we’re here to win a football game.”

Jones and right guard Jermon Bushrod said the Dolphins are not aware of what the Seahawks will do and the teams are not working in conjunction with each other. That may be the only certainty heading into Sunday.

It’s a weighty issue for first-time head coach Adam Gase, who has consistently supported the players’ right to express themselves as they see fit. His comments have run parallel to the NFL’s policy that players “are encouraged but not required” to stand for the anthem.

Gase and his staff gave the players space for their discussion Friday, and he probably won’t know what his team intends to do until they take the field.

“I just know everybody has the right to their opinion, and I know we’re here to beat Seattle,” he said. “It’s one of those things where everybody has a right to their opinion.”