NFL Owner Promised Players Would Stand For Anthem But Then Backtracked

Behind closed doors, the Dolphins and Texans promise to enforce standing.

Miami Dolphins players kneel during the national anthem. Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images.

It took a single day for Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to backpedal from his promise to put an end to player protests of systemic racism and police brutality.

On March 5, after receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Ross told the New York Daily News that unlike last season — when Julius Thomas, Michael Thomas, and Kenny Stills took a knee — anyone wearing a Dolphins uniform would stand during the national anthem in 2018. Exactly how Ross planned to enforce this mandate — since there is no hard and fast NFL rule regarding anthem-specific behavior — was left unsaid.

Just a year ago, Ross was quoted as seemingly supporting the players: “I think everybody here, our team and our whole organization, respects the flag and what it stands for, the soldiers and everything.”

But since President Donald Trump started calling anyone who protested a “son of bitch” who should be booted from the field, Ross has pivoted 180 degrees, now convinced the players’ actions were somehow unpatriotic.

“When that message changed, and everybody was interpreting it as that was the reason, then I was against kneeling,” Ross told the Daily News on March 5. “I like Donald. 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,” he continued. “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.”

It goes without saying, but that logic is utter bunk. While a good chunk of the U.S. population has interpreted the protests in the way Ross suggests, that doesn’t make it true. Perception is not reality no matter how many bad-faith arguments are offered by Trump and the right-wing media ecosystem. The protests are not an insult to the flag nor to those who have served, full stop.

But Ross has either fallen for the ongoing campaign to warp and deflect from the players’ actual message(s) — one that’s been waged ever since Colin Kaepernick kicked off the most prominent spate of honest-to-goodness collective activism from NFL players in recent memory — or his initial comments about the protests and social justice were a convenient falsehood.

On March 6, Ross backtracked and foisted blame on the Daily News, saying in a statement to the Florida Sun Sentinel that he had been “misconstrued” and that he had never claimed he wanted to force the Dolphins to stand. Ross added that while he remains “passionate” when it comes to social justice issues, he’d simply told players that kneeling is, in his opinion, “an ineffective tactic that alienates more people than it enlists.”

The Daily News, in its defense, then posted an audio interview in which Ross can be clearly heard saying, “All of our players will be standing.”

This isn’t the only NFL team in the spotlight for the national anthem. Just days before Ross’s statements, two unnamed NFL agents told the Houston Chronicle that the Texans would refrain from signing any and all free agents who had dared to kneel or raise a fist. That announcement, however, wasn’t something openly discussed by the Texans’ front office but rather reflects a general understanding of team owner Bob McNair’s wishes.

“There many who believe if McNair could field a team with all-white, all-conforming, all-pro talent, he would,” the Chronicle reported March 3.

In a statement, the Texans described the Chronicle’s reporting as “categorically false and without merit,” promising that activism has no impact on their free agency evaluations. The National Football League Players Association also chimed in:

The NFL free agency for 2018 kicks off on March 12. Perhaps some of the league’s brighter stars will keep these kinds of stories in mind when deciding where to ply their trade.


"Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!" proudly declares Smithfly on the website for its new camping boat — the Shoal Tent.

Why have we waited so long for camping equipment that actually lets us sleep on the water? Because it's an awful idea, that's why.

"The world is your waterbed," Smithfly says on its site. But the big difference is that no one has ever had to worry about falling asleep and then drowning on their waterbed.

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While it is possible that one could wade into the water, unzip the tent, have a pleasant slumber, and wake up in the morning feeling safe and refreshed, there are countless things that could go terribly wrong.

The tent could float down the river and you wake up in the middle of nowhere.

You could have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

This guy.

It could spring a leak and you could drown while wrapped up in eight feet of heavy nylon.

A strong current could tip the tent-boat over.

There isn't any way to steer the darn thing.

This guy.

Mashable shared a charming video of the tent on Twitter and it was greeted with a chorus of people sharing the many ways one could die while staying the night in the Shoal Tent.

Oh yeah, it's expensive, too.

Even though the general public seems to think the Shoal Tent is a terrible idea, according to the Smithfly's website, it's currently sold out due to "popular demand" and it will be "available in 6-8 weeks." Oh, and did we mention it costs $1,999?

via zoezimmm / Imgur

There are few more perniciously dangerous conspiracy theories being shared online than the idea that vaccines cause autism.

This has led to a decline in Americans vaccinating their children, resulting in a massive increase in measles. This year has already seen over 1,200 cases of measles, a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

A 2015 Pew Research study found that 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe, while 9% think it's not. Another 7% are not sure. But when you look at the polls that include parents of minors, the numbers get worse, 13% believe that the measles vaccine is unsafe.

There is zero truth to the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, a recent study of over 650,000 children found there was no link whatsoever.

RELATED: A new study of over 650,000 children finds — once again — that vaccines don't cause autism

A great example of the lack of critical thinking shown by anti-vaxxers was a recent exchange on Facebook shared to Imgur by zoezimmm.

A parent named Kenleigh at a school in New Mexico shared a photo of a sign at reads: "Children will not be enrolled unless an immunization record is presented and immunizations are up-to-date."

This angered a Facebook user who went on a senseless tirade against vaccinations.

"That's fine, I'll just homeschool my kids," she wrote. At least they won't have to worry about getting shot up in school or being bullied, or being beat up / raped by the teachers!"

To defend her anti-vaccination argument, she used a factually incorrect claim that Amish people don't vaccinate their children. She also incorrectly claimed that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and used anecdotal evidence from her and her father to claim that vaccinations are unnecessary.

She also argued that "every human in the world is entitled to their own opinion." Which is true, but doesn't mean that wildly incorrect assumptions about health should be tolerated.

She concluded her argument with a point that proves she doesn't care about facts: "It doesn't matter what you say is not going to change my mind."

RELATED: 12 medical professionals shared their most memorable anti-vaxxer stories and you won't stop face-palming

While the anti-vaxxer was incorrect in her points, it must also be pointed out that some of the people who argued with her on Facebook were rude. That should never be tolerated in this type of discourse, but unfortunately, that's the world of social media.

Here's the entire exchange:

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The post received a ton of responses on imgur. Here are just a few:

"'In my opinion...' 'I believe...' That's not how facts work."

"You're entitled to your opinion. And everyone else is entitled to call you a dumbass."

"'What I do with my children is no concern to you at all.' Most of the time, true. When your kid might give mine polio, not true."

"If my child can't bring peanut butter, your child shouldn't bring preventable diseases."

It's important to call out people who spread dangerous views, especially how they pertain to health, on social media. But people should do so with respect and civility.


He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

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via Imgur

Every few years there's something that goes mega viral because people can't decide what it is.

There was the famous "is it blue and black, or white and gold" dress?

There was the audio recording that said either "yanny" or "Laurel."

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Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

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