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#pounditMonday, March 8, 2021

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross responds to criticism from Kenny Stills over Trump support

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross issued a statement on Wednesday in response to criticism from a Dolphins player over the owner’s support of Donald Trump.

Ross began to face some social media backlash after news spread that he would be hosting a Trump fundraiser at his Hamptons home in New York. The most notable criticism may have come from Kenny Stills, who has spent the past four seasons as a Dolphins wide receiver.

Stills pointed out what he felt was some hypocrisy from Ross. Ross is supporting Trump despite having a charity with a stated aim of empowering the sports community to end racial discrimination and improve race relations.

Trump’s work in race relations has widely been viewed as a significant weakness in his presidency. Critics believe race relations have worsened during Trump’s presidency and that the president has inflamed tensions. That’s what led Stills to point out what he views as a major inconsistency with Ross.

After receiving such criticism, as well as talks on social media of people boycotting SoulCycle and Equinox — two companies owned by Ross — the billionaire issued a statement.

“I always have been an active participant in the democratic process. While some prefer to sit outside of the process and criticize, I prefer to engage directly and support the things I deeply care about.

“I have known Donald Trump for 40 years, and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions.

“I started my business with nothing and a reason for my engagement with our leaders is my deep concern for creating jobs and growing our country’s economy. 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.”

Ross seems to be saying he supports Trump for the president’s favorable stances towards big businesses like his. By supporting Trump and organizing a fundraiser for him, Ross seems to be strongly prioritizing improved economic policies over improved race relations in the country, which runs contrary to Ross’ “RISE” charity’s stated mission.

Stills has been a community activist with the Dolphins and was among those who protested during the national anthem.

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