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Kenny Stills Questions Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross over Donald Trump Fundraiser

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2019

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 02: Kenny Stills #10 of the Miami Dolphins warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown/Getty Images

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills criticized team owner Stephen Ross for hosting a planned fundraiser for President Donald Trump. 

The Washington Post's Michelle Ye Hee Lee reported Tuesday that Ross will host one of two events that support Trump Victory, a committee that raises money for Trump's re-election campaign in 2020 and the Republican National Committee.

Still contrasted the fundraiser with the aims of Ross' nonprofit organization:

Kenny Stills @KSTiLLS

🤔 You can’t have a non profit with this mission statement then open your doors to Trump. https://t.co/sNBWfEXvLn https://t.co/nNkRf2wJep

During a July 2017 interview with the Detroit Free Press' Orion Sang, RISE CEO Jocelyn Benson discussed what inspired Ross to launch the nonprofit:

"Stephen felt very strongly, having grown up in Detroit and seeing the way that racism impacts the city and then going to Miami and seeing segregation there throughout his youth, that he wanted to do something about improving race relations in our country and also use his platform as an owner of the Dolphins and a senior executive in sports. ... This is very much his vision, his passion. It's extraordinary to be able to work with someone who is investing in change."

As Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players began kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustice and police brutality across the United States, Trump expressed his disapproval with the movement.

During a September 2017 rally for a Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, Trump said NFL owners should release any player who knelt during the anthem. He went a step further in May 2018, arguing players who protested possibly "shouldn't be in the country":

FOX & friends @foxandfriends

"You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem. You shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there. Maybe they shouldn't be in the country...the NFL owners did the right thing" -President @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/bt36t4EX5u

Stills was among those who knelt during the anthem, and the New York Times' Ken Belson wrote he's "one of the most outspoken players on social justice issues, and considers Kaepernick a friend."

The Sun Sentinel's Safid Deen spoke to a source who said Ross "does not support Trump's views regarding race," however the Dolphins owner is still supporting Trump's bid to remain in the Oval Office and has been friends with the president for decades.