MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins were bound for Europe Monday, traveling transatlantic to play in Germany for the first time.
But before they left, the team’s security detail delivered a plea to players and staff making the trip:
If you’re going out to explore Frankfurt, bring a buddy (and, if possible, multiple).
“None of us are from Germany, and stuff like that. You know, it’s a foreign country,” cornerback Kader Kohou said in the locker room Monday afternoon. “They said it’s best just to take a teammate.”
That would be good advice in the most peaceful of times. But with passions as high as they’ve ever been due to the conflict in the Middle East, it’s downright essential.
Miami Dolphins’ Safety Plan in Germany
Frankfurt isn’t the most dangerous city in Europe, but it’s not the safest, either. It has wrestled with a significant drug problem that has impacted the crime rate for decades.
And while the NFL and the Dolphins have surely picked safe places to stay, no trip is risk-free. Without a security detail or at least a local acting as a guide, non-German speakers — like a team full of American football players — could accidentally find themselves in situations they wouldn’t prefer.
While the Kansas City Chiefs — the Dolphins’ Week 9 opponents — decided to make the overseas flight late in the week, the Dolphins elected to fly overnight Monday to both get acclimated to the time change and give themselves the opportunity to play tourists.
“I was kind of nervous about people trying to cram in sightseeing,” said Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel. “I think it provides an opportunity to go as a team, spend time together, spend the player day off together, and further cement some memories for us to hold on to as we progress on this journey with this team. That was kind of my thought process behind it. There’s [also] some science stuff that I won’t bore you [with].”
Asked Monday about what instructions he’s given his players while they’re over there, McDaniel replied, “Part of being an NFL player and part of being a teammate is understanding that you carry all the obligations that are required of people. You carry the logo, and how you act and what you do affects everyone.
“And then I haven’t really gone into dark and desolate scenarios. I’ve more been emphasizing the opportunity for us to do things as groups and experience and be together and not be off as individuals but to take advantage of the time as a collective. Strength in numbers.”
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