Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross declares he is behind Donald Trump and will order all players on his team to stand for the national anthem beginning next season.

“All of our players will be standing,” Ross told the New York Daily News on Monday.

Three Dolphins knelt during the anthem several times last season. Wide receiver Kenny Stills will likely return this season, but safety Michael Thomas is likely to become a free agent and tight end Julius Thomas is likely to be released, according to ESPN.

“Initially, I totally supported the players in what they were doing,” Ross said. “It’s America, and people should be able to really speak about their choices.”

But Ross told the Daily News that he changed his tune when he and Trump came to see the kneeling as unpatriotic and anti-military.

“When that message changed, and everybody was interpreting it as that was the reason, then I was against kneeling,” Ross told the Daily News. “I like Donald [Trump]. 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. 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.”

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the trend when he began kneeling during the anthem in the 2016 season. He and other players are kneeling to raise awareness about racial injustice and police brutality.

Kaepernick has not been on a football field since he was let go by the 49ers after the 2016 season.

Ross did not divulge to the newspaper what consequences one of his players would suffer if he fails to stand during the anthem in 2018. In 2017, Dolphins coach Adam Gase ordered players to either stand for the anthem or stay in the tunnel. He would later amend his policy and stated if they wanted to kneel, they could do it and wouldn’t be punished.

Terry Shropshire

I'm a lover of words, pictures, people and The Ohio State Buckeyes. A true journalist from the soul.