Brian Flores: Jay-Z playlist was a “challenge” to Kenny Stills

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Thursday night’s meaningless Dolphins game was followed by a meaningful exchange between reporters and coach Brian Flores.

For the first time since Flores reacted to receiver Kenny Stills‘ criticism of Jay-Z’s deal with the NFL by playing eight straight Jay-Z songs at practice, Flores faced the media. And he explained that, as some have speculated, the goal was to see how Stills would respond.

“So after the playlist was done, what you guys don’t know is I walked up to Kenny in front of the entire group and said, this is a challenge to you to get open, catch the football and make plays for this team regardless of what’s going on outside of this building,” Flores said. “The next day — because there was a lot more attention paid to this than I ever would have imagined — I got up in front of the team and I told them that I support Kenny. I support Kenny. I support the player protests. I mean, quite honestly, they’re bringing attention to my story.”

Flores then summarized his own story.

“I’m the son of immigrants,” Flores said. “I’m black. I grew up poor. 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 protest, I’ve lived it. I’ve experienced it. So, yeah, I applaud those guys who protest. So whether it’s [Colin] Kaepernick or Eric Reid or Kenny, I applaud those guys. I told Kenny that in our meeting, in front of the entire team. So that’s where I stand on this thing, and I think it got — it got way more press than it needed to.”

So Flores understandably will make no apologies for how he handled the situation with Stills, who was upset with Jay-Z’s decision to do business with the NFL at a time when the NFL still refuses to do business with Colin Kaepernick.

“I’m trying to challenge one of my players, and I’m going to do that how I see fit,” Flores said. “Look, what these guys protest about is important. I lived it. I experienced it. I don’t know how many people have, but I lived it. So I understand why guys protest, and it’s important. But you know what else is important to me? That guys perform. There’s 89 guys in that locker room who are counting on Kenny to get open, catch the football, and perform for this team, and that’s important to me. If anybody’s got a problem with that, then we’ve just got a problem. We’re going to agree to disagree. I feel like that’s important, and that’s where I stand on this thing. Whatever scrutiny or media or whatever I get, then that’s what I get. I believe, and that’s it. Look, the player protest, I lived it. I mean, I don’t know how many people in here have, but I lived it. So that’s where I’m at on that. It was a challenge to Kenny to perform regardless of whatever’s going on outside. I would say — and I’ve said this to him — he hasn’t performed to that level over the course of this training camp as I’ve seen him. So that was a challenge.”

That last part is intriguing, but Flores wasn’t asked to elaborate. He’s either saying that the challenge resulted in Stills performing at a higher level than he has all camp, or Flores is saying that Still has not performed at a high enough level throughout camp. Which, if that’s the case, is a little ominous only nine days from roster cuts.

Regardless, the comments from Flores were strong and passionate, but it’s surprising that he didn’t think it would spark a media reaction for him to do something that, without the benefit of an explanation in advance, would cause people to think he was sticking it to Stills. Even if the purpose of the playlist was to challenge Stills, it seems unusual to single him out from among 90 for a musical selection that surely lasted well over 30 minutes.

18 responses to “Brian Flores: Jay-Z playlist was a “challenge” to Kenny Stills

  1. Kenny is upset that Jay-Z is doing business with the NFL because of Kaepernick…but Kenny himself is doing business with the NFL. How do I spell hypocrisy? Oh…right.

  2. “Stills, who was upset with Jay-Z’s decision to do business with the NFL at a time when the NFL still refuses to do business with Colin Kaepernick.”

    But hasn’t Stills been doing business with the NFL considering he still plays football?

  3. I guess Kenny really is saying it is okay to extort so long as the cause is down for the struggle and the facts don’t matter to back up the struggle.

  4. djstat , difference between Jay-z and Stills is one is willing to risk his job because he’s willing to take a stand no matter the cost and the other is willing to compromise any of his so called beliefs if the price is right . Agree there is a hypocrite in this situation and his name is Jay-Z.

  5. I think Flores was also taking veiled shots at Stills’ not experiencing what Flores has. Stills is the son of a former NFL player, lived in a rich area in California and went to a public school that draws from a very affluent district. Flores gets it, Stills still doesn’t.

  6. Flores will cut Stills because he isn’t get the job done. Stills will say he was cut because he voiced his displeasure about Jay-Z.

  7. vaphinfan | Aug 23, 2019, 5:44 AM MDT
    NFL is today’s version of soap operas. It use to be fun to watch 15 years ago.
    ——
    And then players started speaking out on social injustices and ruined your fun. My condolences.

  8. Way to go, Flores.

    People get on these boards and conflate what the protests are all about. They are not about the flag or the military. The protests are about people being treated equally and this is from a 60 year old white man.

  9. When this story first came out, I said I didn’t believe that Flores would order that playlist to troll Stills. Well, I was half wrong. Flores did do it, but now he’s made it clear it wasn’t to troll Stills, but to challenge him.

    The challenge is the classic Patriots challenge: when you’re playing or practicing, you have to tune out the noise–and everything that isn’t about doing your job and being a fully contributing part of the team counts as noise.

  10. maalea says:
    August 23, 2019 at 10:07 am
    Way to go, Flores.

    People get on these boards and conflate what the protests are all about. They are not about the flag or the military. The protests are about people being treated equally and this is from a 60 year old white man.
    ——————————————————————————————
    It’s a beautiful thing when somebody gets it.

  11. lks311 says:
    August 23, 2019 at 9:55 am
    vaphinfan | Aug 23, 2019, 5:44 AM MDT
    NFL is today’s version of soap operas. It use to be fun to watch 15 years ago.
    ——
    And then players started speaking out on social injustices and ruined your fun. My condolences
    ++++++++++++++++++
    I can solve the social injustice thing. Not BREAKING THE LAW would be a start.

  12. vaphinfan says:
    August 23, 2019 at 11:32 am
    lks311 says:
    August 23, 2019 at 9:55 am
    vaphinfan | Aug 23, 2019, 5:44 AM MDT
    NFL is today’s version of soap operas. It use to be fun to watch 15 years ago.
    ——
    And then players started speaking out on social injustices and ruined your fun. My condolences
    ++++++++++++++++++
    I can solve the social injustice thing. Not BREAKING THE LAW would be a start.

    4 4 Rate This

    —————————

    I love when people defend the law but don’t know much about law. In Florida it’s illegal to tie an elephant to a parking meter without paying the toll it’s also illegal for an unmarried women to parachute on Sundays. Point is people don’t know much about the law but love telling other people they shouldn’t of broke it. Most united states citizens would fail a law exam in the country they have been living since birth.

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