Brian Flores played a string of Jay-Z songs at Dolphins practice this week just one day after wideout Kenny Stills criticized the rapper’s entertainment and social justice partnership with the NFL, and the coach explained his music choice after Miami’s 22-7 preseason victory over the Jaguars on Thursday.
Flores told reporters he played Jay-Z’s music to “challenge” Stills to stay focused but also disclosed that he met with the team to voice his support for social activism.
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“I support Kenny. I support the player protests,” Flores said. “I mean, quite honestly, they’re bringing attention to my story. So let’s talk about that.”
Stills, 27, was one of three players who continued to protest racial injustice and police brutality in 2018, two years after Colin Kaepernick sat and then kneeled during the national anthem.
Fellow Dolphins receiver Albert Wilson and Panthers safety Eric Reid were the others to either kneel or stay in the tunnel before each game.
“I’m the son of immigrants, I’m black, I grew up poor,” Flores said. “I grew up in New York during the ‘stop and frisk’ era, so I’ve been stopped because I fit a description before. So everything that these guys (players) protest, I’ve lived it. I’ve experienced it. So yeah I applaud those guys who protest. Whether it’s (Colin) Kaepernick or Eric Reid or Kenny (Stills), I applaud those guys. I told Kenny that in our meeting. In front of the entire team.”
Flores left his job as New England’s defensive coordinator to take his first NFL head coaching job in Miami this offseason.