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'Fluff and empty gestures': Dolphins skipping pregame program, national anthem

Miami Dolphins players, Black and white, joined together explaining why they won't take part in the NFL's planned program aimed at racial injustice.

MIAMI — Black and white Miami Dolphins players and coach Brian Flores released a video on social media Thursday saying they’ll protest racial injustice by remaining in their locker room during the national anthem.

The two-minute, 15-second video featured nearly 20 players trading stern rhymes about the nation’s social protest movement.

“If you speak up for change, then I shut up and play,” safety Bobby McCain said.

The NFL plans to play the national anthem and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” — the Black national anthem — before every game this weekend, including the Dolphins’ opener Sunday at New England. The Dolphins have been asked several times this week by reporters whether they’ll stand or kneel for the songs.

"If we could just right our wrongs, we wouldn’t need two songs,” center Ted Karras said in the video.

"So if my dad was a soldier but the cops killed my brother, do I stand for one anthem and kneel for the other?" said offensive lineman Elandon Roberts.

"Enough, no more fluff and empty gestures. We need owners with influence and pockets bigger than ours to call up officials and flex political power," players said.

“We’ll just skip the long production and stay inside,” tight end Mike Gesicki said.

Flores, wearing a T-shirt that read VOTE, closed the video in unity with his players.

“Before the media starts wondering and guessing, they just answered all your questions,” Flores said. “We’ll just stay inside.”

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TEGNA Staff contributed to this report.

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