Kenny Stills knew there would be a reaction, same as when he kneels during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality.
But the latest round included death threats, after the Dolphins wide receiver questioned Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’ ability to do social-justice work while also hosting a fundraiser for President Donald Trump.
Via Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post, Stills said he didn’t think it was a big of a stand to call out his boss on Twitter.
“I honestly don’t think it’s that big of a deal or that courageous,” Stills said of calling out Ross. “It’s human being to human being. And it’s not right. I don’t want to associate myself with bad people and we shouldn’t want to be associated with bad people.
“And our country’s in a rough place right now and I think we could be doing more. I think there’s other candidates that he could support. It’s not about Democrat or Republican or any of those things. It’s literally about why. Why are you trying to help this man raise money to continue to do things that he’s been doing?”
Stills said he had previously stopped working with Ross’ nonprofit foundation RISE (Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality), based on a “gut feeling.”
And even though Ross eventually put out a statement in his own name which walked the line between supporting someone with his money and supporting their words and actions, Stills was unmoved.
“I don’t believe that you can play both sides,” Stills said.
“If you’re going to associate with bad people, then people are going to know about it,” Stills continued. “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.”
He said he hasn’t talked to Ross personally yet, but expects to “at some point.”
He also said he had received five to 10 more death threats via social media, which he’s received in the past for kneeling during the anthem — which he did again Thursday night.