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The Miami Dolphins team doesn’t have players named Horace Black or Manfred Brown on its roster.
And the team didn’t fire these nonexistent athletes for kneeling during the national anthem like a fictitious story on social media claims.
The article was published on us24.online with the headline "BREAKING: Miami Dolphins fire 2 kneeling players before pre-season kickoff." The text was copied from one of America’s Last Line of Defense websites, which are among the biggest sources of false news online.
This story was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its newsfeed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
America’s Last Line of Defense self-identifies as a satire site. The original article’s first link goes to a photo with text that says, "This is not real." That story was filed under the category "Snopes is going to love this ‘satire.’" Us24.online did not include a disclaimer on its home page or on the story.
As the NFL season kicks off, false news stories are circulating on social media related to the ongoing controversy of players protesting during the playing of the national anthem. We’ve recently fact-checked two other stories that originated on America’s Last Line of Defense websites. We rated both Pants on Fire.
In 2016, Colin Kaepernick, then a San Francisco 49ers quarterback, started kneeling during the national anthem before games to protest the treatment of people of color in the United States.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in 2016. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
The Miami Dolphins considered penalizing or firing players who kneeled during the anthem this summer. Shortly after the Associated Press reported on the potential penalties, the NFL and the NFL Players Association announced they would not be issuing or enforcing new rules related to the anthem.
The NFL is not expected to implement a new national anthem policy this season.
While several Miami Dolphins have knelt during preseason games this year, none of them share the names of the players in the article, and no one was fired or penalized. Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt during the national anthem during the Sept. 9 season opener against the Tennessee Titans, eight days after the article's claim was made. They have not been penalized as of deadline for this story.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire.
Us24.online, "BREAKING: Miami Dolphins fire 2 kneeling players before pre-season kickoff," Sept. 1, 2018
America’s Last Line of Defense, "BREAKING: Miami Dolphins fire 2 kneeling players before pre-season kickoff," Aug. 28, 2018
PolitiFact, "If you're fooled by fake news, this man probably wrote it," May 31, 2017
Miami Dolphins, roster, accessed Sept. 10, 2018
PolitiFact, "No, Colin Kaepernick hasn’t lost his Nike deal," Sept. 5, 2018
PolitiFact, "Michael Jordan isn’t parting ways with Nike," Sept. 6, 2018
NFL Media, "Colin Kaepernick explains why he sat during national anthem," Aug 27, 2016
Palm Beach Post, "3 Miami Dolphins stage protests before preseason opener," Aug 9, 2018
ESPN, "NFL not expected to implement new national anthem policy this season," Sept. 9, 2018
Associated Press, "NFL, NFLPA freeze anthem rules amid backlash to Miami policy," July 20, 2018
NBC Miami, "Miami Dolphins owner says he was keeping options open on national anthem," July 20, 2018
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