Tensions Abound at Dolphins’ Camp Over Jay-Z, Trump, Stephen Ross
Though Washington D.C. is more than 1,000 miles from Miami, Donald Trump’s shadow has been cast all over training camp for the Dolphins.
Earlier this month, Miami owner Stephen Ross hosted a fundraiser for President Trump and drew the ire of one of the team’s better players, wide receiver Kenny Stills.
Stills, who has been kneeling during the national anthem since 2016 to protest racial inequality and police brutality, took exception to Ross charging fundraiser attendees $5,600 to $250,000 for the chance to rub elbows with President Trump while at the same time heading up a nonprofit called RISE that claims to be committed to eliminating racial discrimination.
— Kenny Stills (@KSTiLLS) August 7, 2019
In addition to tweeting about it, Stills texted Ross and eventually talked to him about the issue.
“We agreed to disagree, and that was it,” Stills said, via the Palm Beach Post. “There’s not much to argue about. He has his feelings about it, and he stands firm in that, and I respect that. But I disagree, and I told him there’s no hard feelings. There’s no beef, and let’s win some games this year.”
Now, a week after that agreement was reached, Ross has once again done something which will likely get the attention of Stills.
On Tuesday, Ross stepped down from the NFL’s social justice committee, a group of which he was a founding member. “Stephen made the decision last week and informed the NFL and members of the working committee that he was going to step aside from the group and continue to focus his efforts on RISE,” a Dolphins spokesman said, according to ESPN. “He believes in and is still fully committed to the work that has been done by the group and will always be a passionate supporter and tireless advocate for social justice causes, the fight for equal rights and education.”
It’s possible Stills will stay mum about. Miami head coach Brian Flores expressed that he wished the wideout had not publicly criticized Ross about the Trump fundraiser.
Flores was also possibly doubling-down on his message to Stills on Tuesday at practice by playing eight Jay-Z songs in a row.
Following the rapper’s new partnership with the NFL being announced last week, Stills was critical of Jay-Z in much the same way he was of Ross.
“Talking about ‘we’re moving past kneeling’, like he ever protested,” Stills said of some of Jay-Z’s post-partnership comments, via ESPN. “He’s not an NFL player. He’s never been on a knee. Choosing to speak for the people like he had spoken to the people. … To say we’re moving past something, it didn’t seem very informed. I felt like [Jay-Z] really discredited Colin [Kaepernick] and myself and the work that’s being done in our communities.”
Who knows what Flores was trying to accomplish with that steady stream of Jay-Z songs. But whatever it was, it likely wasn’t enough to drown out all the off-field issues that have popped up for Fins this August.
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