Dolphins anthem punishment would include suspensions

Dolphins anthem punishment would include suspensions

Miami Dolphins players who protest on the field during the national anthem could be suspended for up to four games under a team policy issued this week.

The “Proper Anthem Conduct” section is just one sentence in a nine-page discipline document provided to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the policy who insisted on anonymity because the document is not public. It classifies anthem protests under a large list of “conduct detrimental to the club,” all of which could lead to a paid or unpaid suspension, a fine or both.

Miami’s anthem policy comes after the NFL decided in May that teams would be fined if players didn’t stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” while on the field. The league left it up to teams on how to punish players. None of the team policies have been made public.

The NFL rule forbids players from sitting or taking a knee if they are on the field or sidelines during the national anthem, but allows them to stay in the locker room if they wish. The new league rules were challenged this month in a grievance by the players union.

Patriots safety Devin McCourty was among several NFL players who criticized the new policy when it was revealed in May. 

The NFL declined to comment. Team officials had no immediate comment.

© 2018 by The Associated Press

Normally a Belichick backer, Lombardi down on Patriots

Normally a Belichick backer, Lombardi down on Patriots

Mike Lombardi has twice worked for Bill Belichick, first in Cleveland and most recently from 2014-16 with the Patriots and has gained a reputation as somewhat of a sycophant for the Hoodie. 

Still, he can be critical at times. Case in point, the 2016 Jamie Collins trade and earlier this season when he was down on Rob Gronkowski.

This week, Lombardi threw in criticism of Josh Gordon and this "not a good Patriots team" in general in his GM Street podcast from The Ringer.

ESPN's Adam Schefter was also on the Gronk-just-isn't-the-same train on WEEI's "Mut and Callahan" on Friday morning. 

“I think everyone who has watched would agree that he just doesn’t look the same," Schefter said. "He’s lacked explosiveness, he looks like he’s lumbering out there. He’s always looked like he’s lumbering, but he looks like he’s lumbering and just piling over people. You don’t see that as much this year. I think they are hoping that this time off will help invigorate him and that he will bounce back from the bye week and be ready for the stretch run and be like the Gronk of old."

Plenty of post-bye week bulletin-board fodder for the Patriots locker room.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.