Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, stood arm-in-arm with Mike Pouncey and Reshad Jones during the national anthem in response to Trump’s comments.
Trump on Friday said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’” Then the next morning he asked Americans to boycott NFL games until the players stop kneeling during the national anthem.
Ross responded by his actions on Sunday and an official statement on September 23rd.
After the game Ross was asked, “What do you think that message sends to south Florida or to the NFL community?” He responded by saying, “I think it shows the team is together. I think they all don’t like the comments made about them. And I think it shows there’s a lot of unity. I think most people feel the way the players felt.”
Also after the game he said referring to Trump’s statement, “No one likes hearing statements like that. It’s not good for the country. It’s very divisive.”
Teams, players and owners across the NFL responded to Trump’s comments and tweets about the NFL. Some players knelt, some players raised their fists, and others locked arms during the national anthem. Some teams, like the Pittsburgh Steelers, stayed in the locker room.
Other owners, such as Shahid Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Christopher Johnson of the New York Jets, and Jeffrey Lurie of the Philadelphia Eagles, locked arms with their teams on the sidelines. Most owners released statements similar to the owner of the Dolphins.
Ross in 2015 founded the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) to allow sports to help promote social progress.
Last year, Ross supported Michael Thomas, Kenny Stills, Jelani Jenkins and Arian Foster when they kneeled during the national anthem. On Sunday Kenny Stills, Laremy Tunsil, Julius Thomas and Maurice Smith kneeled in protest. Ross continues his support.