Ever since Jay-Z’s partnership with the NFL was announced, the rapper has received criticism from folks in both music and football. Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills has made his thoughts on the matter known, saying recently, “I’m going to try to give this man the benefit of the doubt for now, but it doesn’t sit right with me. It’s not something I agree with or respect.” Naturally, then, eyebrows were raised when Dolphins coach Brian Flores decided to play eight consecutive Jay-Z songs during a recent practice.
Now Flores has explained why he did that at a postgame press conference on Thursday, saying it was a challenge to Stills: “What you don’t know is that I walked up to Kenny in front of the entire group and said, ‘This is a challenge to you to get open, catch the football and make plays for this team regardless of what’s going on.'”
Flores also said that he supports Stills speaking out, saying, “I got up in front of the team and I told them that I support Kenny. I support Kenny. I support the player protests. Quite honestly, they’re bringing attention to my story. So, let’s talk about that. I’m the son of immigrants. I’m black. I grew up poor. I grew up in New York during the stop-and-frisk era. I’ve been stopped because I fit a description before. So everything that these guys protests, I’ve lived it. I experienced it. I applaud those guys who protest. Whether it’s [Colin] Kaepernick or Eric Reid or Kenny, I applaud those guys.”
Brian Flores explains why he played Jay-Z in practice. pic.twitter.com/qcPyxdzvKj
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) August 23, 2019
— WPLG Local 10 Sports (@Local10Sports) August 23, 2019
Read our look at why Jay-Z’s NFL partnership isn’t surprising here.