Kenny Stills Says He's Gotten Death Threats over Criticism of Stephen Ross

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 9, 2019

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills (10) stands on the sidelines, during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills says his recent criticism over team owner Stephen Ross' decision to host a fundraiser for President Donald Trump has led to him receiving death threats. 

Per ESPN's Cameron Wolfe, Stills estimated he's received between five to 10 death threats since making his comments. 

"Someone has to have enough courage to let him know he can't play both sides of this," Stills said. "It's something that I can look back on and say I made the right decision. Maybe I shouldn't have done it on social media, but I did. If you're going to associate yourself with bad people, then people are going to know about it. I put it out there for everybody to see it."

Per Michelle Ye Hee Lee of the Washington Post, Ross is hosting one of two fundraising events for Trump in the Hamptons on Friday. 

Stills responded to news of the event by calling out Ross, who also founded the non-profit Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), on Twitter using that organization's mission statement:

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

Per Wolfe, Stills noted he doesn't "don't have any hard feelings toward" Ross but was just trying to point out "these two things don't align."

Ross issued a statement about his decision to host an event for Trump after Stills' tweet, via Adam Beasley of 790 The Ticket:

"I always have been an active participant in the democratic process. While some prefer to sit outside of the process and criticize, I prefer to engage directly and support the things I deeply care about. 

"I have known Donald Trump for 40 years, and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions.

"I started my business with nothing and a reason for my engagement with our leaders is my deep concern for creating jobs and growing our country’s economy.

"I have been, and will continue to be, an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education and environmental sustainability, and I have and will continue to support leaders on both sides of the aisle to address these challenges."

Wolfe added Stills and Ross, as of Thursday night, had not yet had a conversation about the situation.

Stills has been active in social and political activism throughout his career, including working with RISE and Miami Dolphins Football Unites, which uses football to unite people of different races, genders, sexual orientations, identities, abilities and faith. 

In addition to his off-field activism, Stills continues to kneel during the national anthem to protest against racial inequality and social injustice.