Dolphins’ Kenny Stills has issues with the NFL
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins are getting ready for the Los Angeles Chargers this week and wide-receiver Kenny Stills is asking both the NFL and players why they are not doing more on the racial front.
In 2016 Colin Kaepernick made waves around the league when he chose to sit during the National Anthem. After speaking with a service veteran he got off his butt and took a knee. His motive was simple, bring attention to the killings of unarmed black men and racial injustices.
Following suit, many NFL football players opted to take knees while others held fists in the air and still others joined hands and arms as a show of solidarity. In Miami Dolphins WR Kenny Stills and three others chose to kneel. The Dolphins didn’t have a problem with it but many fans did.
As the season wore on and the kneeling continued, many stopped worrying about it or even thinking about it. The players took knees and the networks moved on to other stories. When the season was over Kaepernick was back in the news as he was out of a job. NFL teams didn’t seem interested in what he could offer. Whether by fit, scheme, talent, lack of talent, salary demands, or distraction, Kaepernick is still out of a job.
Kenny Stills however would like to know why the NFL isn’t helping or saying something about it all? In a series of “tweets” over the last 24-48 hours, Stills has brought up quite a bit of questions regarding not only the NFL’s opting to avoid the topic but why other black athletes are not speaking out as well.
Stills followed the “tweet” with another about the positive “narrative” that Kaepernick has shown and that the NFL has opted to remain neutral. “Why is that?” he asked.
Why is a good question and I’m not in the mood to offer my position on the whole thing but more often than not a company or business will not make comments on social topics that could have significant backlash. The positive to all of this is that the NFL chose not to get involved and allowed it to be a team decision. Afterall how can a league who parades a giant American Flag on the field for the National Anthem outwardly and vocally support taking a knee during it?
Stills however wants more than just the NFL’s voice on the subject. He called out his fellow NFL athletes as well.
The tweet was immediately followed by another regarding his own opinion of why that might be.
The “tweets” have received a lot of comments and discussion but most of them are the same rhetoric we heard last year when the whole, “take a knee” thing started. Some are outraged and disgusted while others are claiming racial bias and injustice. What is not there is responses and answers from other athletes in the league. Or at least none that I found.
When it comes to the community though, Kenny Stills is one of the Dolphins players who puts his money where his mouth is. For Stills there is no reaction without actual action. Him taking a knee, he seems to realize does nothing but invite bad press unless you do more with it.
To his credit whether you agree or disagree with the protest, Stills has used it to reach out and talk with local police. He has become a consistent figure in community service around the Miami area and he continues to inspire others to do more in that realm. By doing so he is bringing positive attention to a not-so-positively viewed on-field pre-game gesture.
Whether or not his message is picked up by other athletes in the NFL or any other league remains to be seen but he took a hard stance at an odd time. A time when the nation has come together for relief of two major hurricanes where Americans of a wide diversity have been affected.
On Sunday the Dolphins will play their first game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Hopefully Stills is focused on that game. He was ridiculed for taking a knee last year on opening day in Seattle. He followed it up with dropping what would have potentially been a game winning touchdown with no one literally around him. Let’s hope he isn’t distracted this week.
I would ask you to comment about your thoughts on this subject but to be honest, it’s pretty easy to predict how this will go. Should I try? Some will say I’m an idiot, oh wait they do that on every article I write, some will support Stills and Kaepernick, others will condemn them, a bunch of race cards are going to get pulled, names will be tossed around, and that Bond James Bond guy will inevitably tie it all to Ryan Tannehill.