The owner of the Miami Dolphins on Saturday called for "unifying leadership right now, not more divisiveness" from Donald Trump after the president said NFL players should be fired for showing "disrespect" for the American flag.
"Our country needs unifying leadership right now, not more divisiveness," owner Stephen Ross said in a statement on Twitter. "We need to seek to understand each other and have civil discourse instead of condemnation and sound bites.
"I know our players who kneeled for the anthem — and these are smart young men of character who want to make our world a better place for everyone.
"They wanted to start a conversation and are making a difference in our community, including working with law enforcement to bring people together," he said.
"We all can benefit from learning, listening and respecting each other."
Ross joined the co-owners of the New York Giants and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Saturday in slamming Trump's comments he made at an Alabama rally Friday calling for dismissals of protesting players and urging fans to "leave the stadium" to stop the demonstrations.
In addition, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith, said that the union would protect the constitutional rights of its members to protest during the National Anthem.
"Sports is a common denominator in our world," Ross said. "We all have the responsibility to use this platform to promote understanding, respect and equality."
Dolphins guard Jermon Bushrod posted this tweet earlier Saturday:
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