The Miami Dolphins organization remained one of a handful of NFL teams that had yet to issue a formal statement supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. Their social media accounts on Tuesday morning marked unified participation.
A black square with a single hashtag attached was posted on the team’s official Twitter and Instagram accounts this morning. The tag, #BlackoutTuesday, is representative of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement (the Black Lives Matter hashtag is not to be used for these purposes, as it feeds the algorithm, covering important resources and documentation).
These posts are the organization’s first official statements in favor of Black Lives Matter after protests began to erupt across the country last week over the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. On May 29, the team’s social media shared a statement from head coach Brian Flores. And on Monday at the launch of the Miami Dolphins Food Relief Program, executives including team President and CEO Tom Garfinkel spoke out against the injustices.
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What is #BlackoutTuesday?
#BlackoutTuesday began at TheShowMustBePaused.com, a website started by music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang. The mission is to “intentionally disrupt the work week” in favor of “honest, reflective and positive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community.”
The use of the hashtag on personal and business accounts is a promise to halt business, and the movement is geared particularly towards holding businesses that have benefitted especially from Black people accountable. It dissuades casual posting in favor of posts that are productive towards the Black Lives Matter movement, and asks these businesses to refrain from conducting “business as usual without regard for Black lives.”
The Team’s Participation
Several Dolphins players have retweeted the black square and hashtag posted by the team’s official account, and sponsor and former college accounts. Among players who have posted the graphic on their independent accounts are rookie Robert Hunt, James Crawford, and Kyle Van Noy.
In addition to #BlackoutTuesday participation, several players have allocated their social media accounts to the cause. Receiver DeVante Parker shared a statement of his own:
“I am saddened by the senseless acts of racial injustice in this country. Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable and can’t be tolerated. Together as one we can bring about meaningful change for present and future generations. My prayers go out to everyone affected across the country and in my hometown of Louisville, KY. #BlackLivesMatter.”
Linebacker Jerome Baker Jr., who has been very active in retweeting videos of protests and tweets in favor of the movement, has not yet made a personal statement of his own, but did express sorrow over the death of former Indiana football player Chris Beaty, who was killed in the Indianapolis riots.
Of the quarterback group, Tua Tagovailoa does not appear to have been active on Twitter since May 26, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is not active on social media. But Josh Rosen shared his support of the Black Lives Matter movement last week, in a thread imploring Americans to vote.