Kenny Stills Says He's Committed to Protesting During Anthem 'Forever'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2018

Kenny Stills (izquierda) y Albert Wilson, de los Dolphins de Miami, se arrodillan durante la interpretación del himno nacional antes del partido del domingo 9 de septiembre de 2018, ante los Titans de Tennessee (AP Foto/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Kenny Stills has no plans to stop protesting during the national anthem.

Ever.

The Miami Dolphins wide receiver, who protested with teammate Albert Wilson before Sunday's season opener against the Tennessee Titans, has knelt during the anthem since 2016. 

"We started the protest two years ago now—three years ago now—and we're not going anywhere," Stills told reporters. "It's not going to change. Activism isn't something you just kind of get involved in and then turn your back on it. Once your eyes are open to some of the things that are happening, you continue to work and try and grow and create change for the rest of your life, so this is something I'm committed to forever.

"It's not about being the face or who gets the notoriety for it. It's just what I care about outside of work and what I spend my time doing when I'm not here working for the Dolphins."

Stills and Wilson, along with Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, were the only players to protest during the anthem in Week 1, per ESPN. The NFL implemented a new policy that allows players to stay inside the locker room during the song. Demonstrations have been a fractious topic across the country since Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the 2016 season. 

Kaepernick praised Stills and Wilson on Twitter.

"My Brothers @kstills and @ithinkisee12 continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed! They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward! 'Love is at the root of our resistance!'" Kaepernick tweeted.

Kaepernick has gone unsigned each of the last two offseasons despite throwing for 2,241 yards and 16 touchdowns against four interceptions in 2016. He is currently suing the NFL for collusion, claiming the league's owners refused to sign him due to the protests.

Stills says he hopes more players join in kneeling for the anthem.

"Obviously I would be encouraged to see more guys participating in the protest but I understand that everybody makes their own decision," Stills said. "It's never been about what other guys are doing. I understand my position and what I'm standing for, what I'm standing up for, and I'll continue to do that."

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