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Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says anthem comments were ‘misconstrued’

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is attempting to walk back statements made this week that certainly appeared to indicate a policy would be instituted requiring all team players to stand for the national anthem.

Ross issued a statement Tuesday saying his comments were “misconstrued.”

“I have no intention of forcing our players to stand during the anthem and I regret that my comments have been misconstrued,” Ross said in the statement, via Pro Football Talk. “I’ve shared my opinion with all our players: I’m passionate about the cause of social justice and I feel that kneeling is an ineffective tactic that alienates more people than it enlists. I know our players care about the military and law enforcement too because I’ve seen the same players who are fighting for social justice engaging positively with law enforcement and the military. I care passionately that the message of social justice resonates far and wide and I will continue to support and fund efforts for those who fight for equality for all.”

Ross’ original comments on anthem protests were arguably quite clear, telling the New York Daily News on Monday that “All of our players will be standing.” He added that originally he “totally supported” the players and their protests. However, Ross believes the “message changed” at some point and that “everybody was interpreting it as that was the reason, then I was against kneeling.”

Ross also stated how the “country now is interpreting the kneeling issue” caused him to change his views on protests.

It would seem in light of Tuesday’s statement that Ross will not force Dolphins players to stand for the anthem. If so, it leaves one to wonder what inspired the comments that caused all the trouble on Monday in the first place.