The Miami Dolphins are taking the newly established NFL anthem policy a step further by implementing a team policy. According to the Associated Press, a team discipline document now includes a section on "Proper Anthem Conduct."
It lists anthem protests under a large list of "conduct detrimental to the club," all of which could lead to a paid or unpaid fine, suspension or both.
Punishment can include a suspension for up to four games, the Associated Press reported. However, it's rare for players to be suspended for that long.
So rare in fact that when Dolphins player Phillip Merling was arrested and charged with assaulting his pregnant fiancée in 2010, he wasn't suspended a single game.
NFL owners passed their national anthem rule in May, which prohibits players from taking a knee during the song. The players who disobey and kneel are subject to fines, as are their teams.
Dolphins owner Steve Ross stated in March that "All of our players will be standing" for the anthem. He explained to the New York Daily News that he supported in the beginning what the players were trying to accomplish by kneeling, but he then began to feel that the players were protesting against "support of our country or the military," despite the players explicitly saying this was not the case.
Ross also said he was influenced by President Donald Trump's comments opposing the players kneeling.
The day after his comments were made public in the Daily News, Ross clarified his statement by stating that he didn't intend to force Dolphins players to stand.
Technically, for what it's worth, Ross isn't forcing Miami Dolphins players to stand, but he's making it painfully difficult if they decide to do otherwise.