Arian Foster and several of his Dolphins teammates protested during the national anthem on Sunday by taking a knee instead of standing. Taking Colin Kaepernick’s lead, the quartet of Dolphins are being criticized by some for "disrespecting those who lost their lives on 9/11," but in reality the players stood during a pregame ceremony honoring those lost before taking their knee. After the game, running back Arian Foster explained the protest.
"If kneeling for your flag is disrespectful then kneeling for your God is disrespectful," Arian Foster said. pic.twitter.com/hpfzxw4meW— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) September 11, 2016
It was a strong message not only to those critiquing him, but explaining why he took a stand.
"I make one thing clear that it’s not about the symbology that people are mad about, it’s about the message and it’s about who’s saying it — because if it’s about a knee that people are upset about, every Sunday people of faith take a knee to give thanks to their lord and savior."
Foster continued about how he and his teammates were exercising their rights.
"This is exactly what this country is all about. We have people in other countries that if they speak out they get beheaded, they get killed, they get tortured. That’s not what this is about. If somebody disagrees with it, they can disagree with it -- but respect that right to protest. Those same people who fought and died for our right to protest fought for your rights."
Later on Twitter, Foster wanted to clarify that his protest did not interfere with any pregame memorial to 9/11 victims.
there was a pre game speech from our president commemorating those that lost their lives on that tragic day on 9/11. we stood for that.— Feeno (@ArianFoster) September 12, 2016
don't put your hatred in our hearts. I love this country. don't let the love for a symbol overrule the love for your fellow human.— Feeno (@ArianFoster) September 12, 2016
Foster and the Dolphins weren’t the only players around the league to protest during the anthem in Week 1. Brandon Marshall of the Broncos, the Chiefs’ Marcus Peters and Martellus Benentt and Devin McCourty of the Patriots joined the movement.