Miami Dolphins Owner Supports Protests of Players

Players from several NFL teams joined 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in protesting racial inequality this past weekend. Four players from the Miami Dolphins took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday, which was also the anniversary of 9/11.

The protest drew backlash on social media.

However another powerful member of the Miami Dolphins is supporting the four players —and he's never spent any time on the field. Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross went up to safety Michael Thomas after the game against the Seattle Seahawks and voiced his support for their national anthem protest, according to the Sun Sentinel.

He continued to support the players to in front of the press.

"I don't think there was any lack of respect," Ross said, according to the Sentinel. "Everyone in this team and whole organization respects the flag and what it stands for. These guys are making a conversation about something that's very important topic in this country. I'm 100 percent in support of them."

This is the first team owner to make such a direct statement in support of protesting racial inequality.

This matters because the owners of the 32 teams of the NFL have significant power, and they don't have to worry about losing their jobs based on political stances. It's also important to note that the 2015 NFL Racial and Gender Report Card by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport found that the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills were the only teams to have a majority owner of color. Meanwhile the report found that 67 percent players are black. 

Sentinel sports columnist David Hyde pointed out the importance of Ross' support. 

"And so this national sports protest for change and more racial awareness got its biggest recruit to date. Ross isn't some disposable player. He didn't have to back off from joining the protest because he's a small-name reserve who feared for his job, as Thomas initially did."

Other players also protested on Sunday.

Players from the Kansas City Chiefs, the Tennessee Titans, and the New England Patriots raised the black power fist during the anthem.

Other teams like the Seattle Seahawks linked arms during the national anthem.

RELATED: NFL Players Are Protesting in Solidarity With Colin Kaepernick