The Miami Dolphins will discipline players who protest the national anthem on the field by suspending them up to four games, according to new team rules issued this week.
The “Proper Anthem Conduct” section of the rules obtained by the Associated Press outlines “conduct detrimental to the club” that will be punished by paid or unpaid suspensions and fines. Protesting during the anthem is included in the list of unacceptable behavior.
The National Football League warned teams in May that it would fine them if players protested during the national anthem before games. The league rules, which the players’ union has since challenged, allow players to remain in the locker room but not sit or take a knee during the song.
The NFL’s move came after a season of protests by players from teams across the league, including the San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, and New York Jets. Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick spearheaded the protests as a way to draw attention to racial discrimination against African-Americans in the U.S., but critics argued the protests disrespected the American flag and the country.
President Trump pushed the controversial protests into the national spotlight when he criticized the protesting players and lauded the NFL when they instituted disciplinary measures.