Dolphins' Flores Shows Support For Stills, Social Justice Efforts
Dolphins coach Brian Flores offered his support for WR Kenny Stills and other NFL players' protests against social injustice, "revealing a previously unseen, personal side of himself in backing" the movement, according to Hal Habib of the PALM BEACH POST. Flores was "indeed sending a message" to Stills "with his musical selections in practice this week" by playing Jay-Z songs. But on Thursday, he said, "I support Kenny. I support the player protests." Flores then "reflected on his background growing up in a tough section of Brooklyn." He said, "I’m the son of immigrants. 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." Flores added, "I applaud these guys that protest, 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" (PALM BEACH POST, 8/23). Flores, who chooses the music for practice, said that he was "trying to motivate Stills." He said, "It was a challenge to Kenny to perform regardless of what's going on outside" (AP, 8/23). ESPN.com's Cameron Wolfe notes the Dolphins "obviously want to move on from this moment and get back to football." Stills said that he "doesn't believe it is a big deal" and that he "doesn't want this to be any more of a distraction than it already is" (ESPN.com, 8/23).
NOT THE BLUEPRINT: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Andrew Beaton cited sources as saying that Jay-Z after announcing his deal with the NFL was "shocked that his involvement with the league was being interpreted by some as an affront to Kaepernick." Sources said that Jay-Z "thought his move to use the country’s most popular sports league as a platform for an important cause would be well-received." Jay-Z’s "bid to lend his credibility to the NFL had unknowingly waded into an internal firefight that has been raging among players for several years over how the league should address topics such as racial inequality and police brutality." Members of the Players Coalition have "stressed their independence from the NFL and that they had nothing to do with the league’s partnership with Jay-Z." They said that while it "may bring unwanted attention, it can also be a signal from the league of their efforts to amplify their causes that have already achieved legislative changes across the country" (WSJ.com, 8/22).