Sports

Kenny Stills Criticized Jay-Z’s NFL Partnership: ‘Like He Ever Protested’


Getty Image

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills has been at the forefront of protests concerning social justice, including the decision to kneel for the national anthem played before NFL games. Stills, unlike Colin Kaepernick, is still in the NFL despite his protest of police brutality against people of color.

Stills is unafraid of the consequences of criticizing those in power, even in the NFL. As recently as this preseason has been critical of Dolphins owner Steven Ross’s support of Donald Trump, and so it’s no surprise that Stills spoke out against Jay-Z’s partnership with the NFL given his own support of Kaepernick in the past.

Jay-Z and the NFL announced a partnership last week, with reports that the rapper also wants to own an NFL franchise drawing a variety of criticism against him. And on Monday, Stills addressed the media after controversial comments made by Jay-Z, who is reportedly set to acquire a “significant ownership interest” in an NFL team.

Jay-Z’s comment of “I think we’ve moved past kneeling and I think it’s time to go into actionable items” drew the ire of many and, in a pair of videos, Stills can be seen discussing the issue on an in-depth basis.

At first, Stills seemed reticent to have the full-fledged discussion, stressing a “wait and see” approach to what will transpire with Jay-Z and his potential interest in the NFL. From there, though, he expressed some concern about the way Jay-Z may be approaching the situation.

“He could have reached out to Colin (Kaepernick),” Stills said. “He could have reached out to me. Some of the ways that he answered his questions, talking about ‘We’re moving past kneeling’ — like he ever protested. He’s not an NFL player. He’s never been on a knee.”

“I wonder how many common people that he knows or that he’s spoken to,” Stills added. “I wonder if he’s read my Facebook comments or my Instagram comments or some of the things that people say to me… To be able to speak on it and say we’re moving past something — it didn’t seem very informed.”

Earlier in the week, Carolina Panthers defensive back Eric Reid called Jay-Z’s choice to work with the NFL “kind of despicable” and, while Stills did not want to directly react to Reid’s statements, he did reemphasize that the situation and Jay-Z’s actions do not “sit right” with him.

As ESPN notes, Stills has been active in speaking out about social issues, even against the person who owns the team he plays for.

Stills called out Dolphins owner Stephen Ross two weeks ago. Stills couldn’t reconcile Ross holding a fundraiser for President Donald Trump at his home while running a nonprofit with a goal of fighting racism and social injustice. Ross said he could oppose racism and still support his friend Trump. Stills was adamant that Ross couldn’t play both sides. They eventually talked about it on the phone and agreed to disagree.

This is certainly an evolving story with much more information that will likely come to light but, judging by a few minutes of publicized video, Stills seems to be joining the chorus of individuals that aren’t terribly happy with the approach of Jay-Z.

×