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Dolphins could suspend players for anthem violations, in theory

Despite a decline in the NFL's television ratings, the Packers' finances remained unaffected, which means anthem protests did not impact the NFL's finances.

The NFL’s new anthem policy requires players to stand for the anthem or remain in the locker room. Violations will trigger fines of the teams, and punishment of the players. In Miami, it could be more than fines.

According to the Associated Press, the team has a nine-page disciplinary document that includes a section labeled “Proper Anthem Conduct.” The document includes anthem protests within the laundry list of behavior that constitutes “conduct detrimental to the club.” By rule, detrimental conduct could result in a fine and/or a suspension.

None of this means that the team will actually suspend players for violating the anthem policy. However, the new anthem policy doesn’t foreclose a suspension, since it allows “[e]ach club [to] develop its own work rules . . . regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross at one point firmly supported the player right to protest. He then flipped, explaining that the political uproar obscured the reasons for the protests during the anthem. His team is the first to be linked to the possibility of players being suspended for protesting during the anthem.