3 Dolphins kneel for anthem after Adam Gase relaxes team rule

Miami Dolphins players Julius Thomas, Michael Thomas and Kenny Stills knelt during the anthem before Sunday night's game against the Oakland Raiders.

Before recent games, the three players waited in the tunnel during the anthem. Coach Adam Gase had established a team rule requiring players either to stand for the anthem or stay in the tunnel.

But the players told Gase that waiting in the tunnel was interfering with their game preparation, a person familiar with the discussions told the Associated Press

The person said Gase told them he preferred they stand during the anthem but respected their right to express themselves and relaxed the team rule.

For the Dolphins, the game was the first since owner Stephen Ross joined with his players to create a fund for social justice programs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.