Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills criticized Dolphins team owner Stephen Ross for hosting a fundraiser for President Donald Trump while also leading a nonprofit organization focused on improving race relations and social justice, according to ESPN.
Stills, one of the few players who still protests against police brutality and social injustice by kneeling during the national anthem before games, believes that it is contradictory to support President Trump while running the RISE Foundation (Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality).
“You can’t have a non profit with this mission statement then open your doors to Trump,” Stills wrote on Twitter in response to a tweet reporting the details of the fundraiser.
The RISE Foundation mission statement states: “We are a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations. Through partnerships and programs, we inspire leaders in sports to create positive change on matters of race and equality.”
Stills has been active in the RISE Foundation, as well as other community service and social justice initiatives. The Dolphins nominated the receiver for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award last season, which is given to one player each year who exhibits “excellence on and off the field” and “has had a significant positive impact on his community.”
Ross has been an open Trump supporter and donor for years and said he and the president have been friends for 40 years even though they disagree on “many” things.
“I’ve always been an active participant in the democratic process,” Ross said, according to ESPN. “While some prefer to sit outside of the process and criticize, I prefer to engage directly and support the things I care deeply about. I have been, and will continue to be, an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education and environmental sustainability, and I have and will continue to support leaders on both sides of the aisle to address these challenges.”