Kenny Stills Becomes Latest NFL Player To Criticize Jay-Z Partnership
Dolphins WR Kenny Stills "questioned Jay-Z’s knowledge" of social activism after the rapper partnered with the NFL last week, according to Hal Habib of the PALM BEACH POST. Stills said of Jay-Z, "Some of the ways that he answered his questions, talking about ‘We’re moving past kneeling’ -- like he ever protested. He’s not an NFL player. He’s never been on a knee.” Stills added Jay-Z "could have reached out" to both he and Colin Kaepernick ahead of the announcement (PALM BEACH POST, 8/20). More Stills: "I wonder if he's read my Facebook comments or my Instagram comments or some of the things people say to me. To say we're moving past something, it didn't seem very informed. ... I felt like [Jay-Z] really discredited Colin and myself and the work that's being done in our communities." ESPN.com's Cameron Wolfe noted Stills is one of three current NFLers, along with Panthers S Eric Reid and Dolphins WR Albert Wilson, who continue to kneel during the anthem. For some, this partnership "signaled a step in the right direction for the NFL, but Stills questions the intentions behind it." He said, "They've done a good job shifting the problem onto Roc Nation and [Jay-Z's] shoulders instead of themselves" (ESPN.com, 8/19). Stills also said that he "plans to continue kneeling this season to call attention to key issues" (MIAMI HERALD, 8/20).
RUSH TO JUDGEMENT? In Ft. Lauderdale, Omar Kelly asks, "Why must we pick a side?" Too many people have "worked too hard to steer this conversation from a lack of patriotism ... to where it is now, staring race-relation issues in the face." Kelly: "Now, three years since this journey began, it’s Kaepernick and the kneelers versus Jay-Z?" Jay-Z is "not given the benefit of doubt before his first act, his first commercial, and all because he didn’t consult Kaepernick and company." Kelly: "That sounds a bit contradictory, and hypocritical" (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 8/20).