Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills is one of a few players who still kneel during the playing of the national anthem, protesting social injustice, racial inequality and police brutality, before NFL games. He’s also pretty outspoken, too, and it doesn’t matter who he challenges. That includes the man who will cut his $7 million paycheck this season.
When Derick Waller of ABC7 in New York posted a tweet that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross would be hosting a big fundraiser for President Donald Trump, the veteran wideout took offense to it. So he decided to call out the billionaire in South Florida.
“You can’t have a non profit with this mission statement and then open your doors to Trump,” Stills posted Wednesday morning.
Stills, who recorded 37 catches for 553 yards and six touchdowns last season in Miami, also attached the mission statement of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, which reads: “We are a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.”
It adds: “Through partnerships and programs, we inspire leaders in sports to create positive change on matters of race and equality.”
Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills, a fifth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, was obviously confused. He had no idea why his team owner, a real estate developer who has that kind of nonprofit, would host $250,000 fundraiser for President Trump in The Hamptons, which will include lunch, a photo, and a private roundtable, according to Waller and The Washington Post.
In many ways, what a team owner does in his free time should be of no concern to his NFL players. After all, he is the one cutting the checks and he can have a President Trump fundraiser if he wants. Plus, the Miami Dolphin and head coach Brian Flores have plenty of other things to worry about.
However, one thing remains clear: Kenny Stills will not back down to anyone, including team owner Stephen Ross.
Kenny Stills Death Threats
Dolphins WR Kenny Stills wasn’t a factor at all in the team’s preseason opener, a 34-27 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, but the big crowd at this locker after the game was no surprise. Anytime a player criticizes the team’s owner, there will be questions, but Stills stood by his initial social media post.
Stills hasn’t spoken to Stephen Ross, who also owns Equinox and SoulCycle, yet, but he likely will at some point.
“Someone has to have enough courage to let him know he can’t play both sides of this,” Stills said of Ross Thursday night, via ESPN. “It’s something that I can look back on and say I made the right decision. Maybe I shouldn’t have done it on social media, but I did. If you’re going to associate yourself with bad people, then people are going to know about it. I put it out there for everybody to see it.”
Since his comments went viral, Stills said he had received five to 10 death threats in the day leading up to the first preseason game.
“The tweet doesn’t, like, put me against Mr. Ross,” Stills added, via ESPN. “I don’t have any hard feelings toward him. There’s no, like, beef. It’s just like, ‘Hey, these two things don’t align. And maybe somebody else hasn’t told you, but I’m letting you know.’ It’s important to me that the work that we’re doing isn’t just lip service. It’s real. Everything that I do has been real from the very beginning. And it’s going to be that way.”