Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas, tight end Julius Thomas and wide receiver Kenny Stills kneeled on one knee during the national anthem while on the sideline prior to Sunday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders, which goes against owner Steve Ross’ wishes.

But the players had permission for their actions.

The players, according to a source, told coach Adam Gase they felt they couldn’t be themselves with Gase’s anthem rule that required them to either go to the tunnel or locker room if they didn’t plan on standing during the anthem. The players also told Gase going to the tunnel or locker room interfered with their pre-game preparations.

“He just gave us the go,” Michael Thomas said. “That was it. He was like, ‘Do what y’all gotta do. Don’t think about what y’all are going to do like come in the locker room before the anthem. None of that. Just go out there and play. If ya’ll want to take a knee, take a knee.’

“He’s not worried about that. He’s just trying to win games.”

Gase told the players he prefers for them to stand while on the sideline, the source said, but respected their right to express themselves and relaxed the team rule.

Prior to the Tennessee game on Oct. 8, Ross said he wanted his players to stand during the national anthem. Ross said President Donald Trump made kneeling about dishonoring the flag and the military, not a protest of social injustices to minorities.

“He’s changed that whole paradigm of what protest is,” Ross said before the Titans game. “And I think it’s incumbent upon the players today, because of how the public is looking at it, to really stand and really salute the flag.”

Gase, speaking the day after the Tennessee game, said he made it a rule for players to stand if they’re going to be on the sideline. If they wished to kneel or make any other gesture to protest social injustice Gase said the players either had to stay in the tunnel or locker room.