Kenny Stills isn’t backing down from comments he made earlier despite receiving “five to 10” death threats on social media for criticizing Dolphins owner Stephen Ross over hosting a fundraiser for President Donald Trump.
Stills, known to be outspoken about social issues, wasn’t apologetic when asked about his remarks after Thursday’s preseason opener against the Falcons.
“If you’re going to associate with bad people, then people are going to know about it,” Stills told reporters (via the Miami Herald). “I think there’s ways you can support candidates without it being so public and without it being at your personal, private residence. I put it out there so everybody could see it.”
— Miami Herald Sports (@HeraldSports) August 9, 2019
Stills expressed his displeasure about Ross hosting a luncheon at his home for the president. He wrote Wednesday: “You can’t have a nonprofit with this mission statement [and] then open your doors to Trump.” The mission statement Stills was referring to was Ross’ RISE Foundation, which states: “The foundation is a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.”
— Kenny Stills (@KSTiLLS) August 7, 2019
Stills stood by his remarks Thursday: “Someone has to have enough courage to let him know he can’t play both sides of this. 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.”
Stills clarified that he didn’t intend for his tweet to pit him against Ross, and he doesn’t have any hard feelings about the owner.
“There’s no, like, beef. It’s just like, ‘Hey, these two things don’t align. And maybe somebody else hasn’t told you, but I’m letting you know,'” Stills explained (per USA Today). “It’s important to me that the work that we’re doing isn’t just lip service. It’s real. Everything that I do has been real from the very beginning. And it’s going to be that way.”
Dolphins coach Brian Flores also addressed Stills’ comments after Thursday’s game, and expressed some disappointment in how his receiver handled the situation.
“The one thing I said to Kenny was and I understand where Kenny is coming from,” Flores told reporters. “He wants to be a voice. … I respect that. My conversation with Kenny, I asked him why he didn’t talk to the owner, why he didn’t talk to Steve first before putting something out?
“And I think that something we have to do more of. There has to be more communication, more conversation, more … just more communication if we really want to make change. I wish he would have done that. I told him that.”