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#pounditMonday, March 8, 2021

Articles tagged: Stephen Ross

Kenny Stills criticizes Dolphins owner Stephen Ross for latest donation

Kenny Stills has long been a fierce critic of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross when it comes to Ross’ commitment to social justice initiatives, and that’s not stopping now.

Stills, now with the Houston Texans, was not impressed by the fact that Ross is donating $13 million to RISE, the Dolphins owner’s non-profit to battle systemic racism.

RISE has been the target of Stills’ criticism before. When the wide receiver was still with the Dolphins, he stated that, in his view, it wasn’t possible for Ross to simultaneously fight against systemic racism while supporting Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

Stills’ tenure in Miami had a weird ending that some chalked up to his outspoken advocacy for social justice, though Stills himself didn’t think so. Even though he’s no longer with the team, it doesn’t look like he’ll be letting up on Ross anytime soon.

Dolphins owner says there will ‘definitely’ be an NFL season

As major sports leagues continue to explore ways in which they can safely begin or resume their seasons, the NFL community remains confident that there will be football in the fall.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was asked about the 2020 NFL season during an appearance on CNBC Tuesday morning, and he reassured fans that there will be football. However, it remains unclear if those fans will be able to attend games.

The Dolphins laid out a plan earlier this month that could allow them to host a limited number of fans at Hard Rock Stadium, and some teams may take that approach. Others in different areas of the country may decide to play in empty venues, and at least one team seems to have very little shot of hosting fans unless there are some serious changes in their local government’s policy.

Whatever the case, it would be a surprise if the NFL did not kick off as scheduled in Week 1. If the NBA, NHL and MLB are still planning to proceed with their seasons, time is on the NFL’s side.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross disputes Tom Brady rumors

Tom Brady

It doesn’t sound like Tom Brady is coming to the Miami Dolphins.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross threw cold water on any Brady-to-Miami chatter, suggesting that the team is “building” and any Brady rumors come from writers looking for a story.

Brady wouldn’t be part of any long-term solution for Miami, and it’s hard to believe the quarterback would want to jump down to a franchise that is clearly in rebuilding mode. Ross has close ties with the University of Michigan, where Brady went to school, but that likely wouldn’t be enough to seal the deal even if the Dolphins were interested.

Brady may ultimately opt to stay with the New England Patriots. If he does leave, a team out west may have a better shot of landing him.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross attended LSU-Alabama to scout his future quarterback

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was in Alabama this weekend to take a look at his potential future franchise quarterback.

On Saturday, LSU and Alabama met in the biggest game to date of this college football season. No. 1 LSU coming away with a 46-41 victory over No. 3 Alabama. The game featured the presumptive frontrunner for this year’s Heisman Trophy in Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow, and last year’s Heisman runner-up Tua Tagovailoa.

Miami entered Sunday with a 1-7 record and likely high draft pick on the way, making good on their plan to tank this season. Ross was one of many on hand at Bryant-Denny Stadium to see both quarterbacks firsthand, according to a report.

The Dolphins do have a former first-round pick on their roster at quarterback in Josh Rosen, but they’ve mostly been playing veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick instead as the two have alternated benchings.

Ross and the Dolphins are hoping either Tua or Burrow give them their first true franchise quarterback seemingly since Dan Marino retired.

Jim Harbaugh defends Stephen Ross again over backlash

Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh defended Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross over the backlash the owner faced earlier this month.

Ross received heavy backlash on social media — with opponents threatening boycotts of his companies — when it was revealed he was hosting a fundraiser for Donald Trump at his New York home. The matter received extra attention in the sports arena when Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills called out Ross, openly questioning his boss.

Ross is a Michigan alum and the biggest donor to the school. He donated $100 million to the athletic department in 2013.

On his “Attack Each Day” podcast episode that was published on Tuesday, Harbaugh talked about the backlash Ross received and also the backlash he received simply for congratulating Ross for receiving an honor.

“I mean, so much Stephen Ross has done for so many across so many platforms. Now, he’s just getting bashed.

“I even tweeted out ‘Congratulations’ for being inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame and I was getting backlash over that, over congratulating him for that,” Harbaugh said on the podcast, via MLive.com.

Harbaugh has worked both sides politically. He has invited the Obamas to be honorary captains at a Michigan football game in 2017. He has commented on Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling and later wrote the Time 100 bio for his former quarterback. He is also defending Ross despite the owner’s support of Trump.

Harbaugh believes “zealots” on both sides standing in the way of unity, which he seeks.

“We’ve got politicians that don’t seem like they can please anybody. Right now, a house divided can’t stand. There’s zealots on both sides, no matter what. If it could be run like a football team and we all pulled together for each other, for the team, I think that would please everybody.”

Kenny Stills says he received death threats over Ross-Trump situation

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills says he received multiple death threats over his comments about the Stephen Ross-Donald Trump situation.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Ross, the Dolphins owner, would be hosting at his Southampton home a fundraiser for Trump. Multiple people on social media condemned Ross for the move and encouraged a boycott of SoulCycle and Equinox, two fitness companies owned by Ross.

Stills, who is entering his fifth season with the Dolphins, pointed out on social media what he felt was inconsistency between Ross’ “RISE” charity’s mission and support of the president.

Stills told reporters after the Dolphins’ preseason game Thursday that he received death threats for his comments.

Ross’ defense is that he supports the president on some issues, like economic policies, but not others, like social issues/racial matters.

Stills further stood up to Ross by saying the owner can’t play both sides.

“The two things don’t coincide. They are very contradictory… It’s important to me that the work that we’re doing isn’t just lip service. It’s real. Everything I do has been real from the very beginning,” Stills said, via ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe.

Someone has to have enough courage to let him know he can’t play both sides of this… If you say you’re going to be about something, let’s be about it.”

Stills was among the players who protested during the national anthem in 2016. He continues to be active in helping the South Florida community.

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.

Miami Dolphins owner backs off NFL anthem discipline policy

Miami Dolphins logo

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross backtracked in a statement on Friday about the team’s national anthem discipline policy.

On Thursday, word emerged that the Dolphins included anthem protests among the many actions that could lead to a personal conduct suspension from the team, which would be up to a four-game suspension.

The Dolphins are backing off now.

“We were asked to submit a form to the NFL on our overall discipline policy prior to the start of the rookie report date,” Ross said in a statement. “The one line sentence related to the national anthem was a placeholder as we haven’t made a decision on what we would do, if anything, at that point. I’m pleased that the NFL and NFLPA are taking a pause to figure out a resolution on this issue. I am passionate about social justice and through the Miami Dolphins and creation of RISE, will continue to use the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress.”

The fallout from the story led the NFL and NFLPA to announce that they were engaging in private discussions about a better-serving anthem policy, which is something mentioned in the statement.

The Dolphins were among the teams that had players protest during the anthem last season. It’s quite possible that the demonstrations continue this season.

NFL owners issue statements against Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Multiple NFL owners came out on Saturday and released statements that were critical of President Donald Trump’s comments made in Alabama on Friday.

During a speech in Huntsville, Trump termed any NFL player who protests the anthem a “son of a b—-,” and said he would love to see an owner fire players who protested.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a strong statement condemning Trump’s words as “divisive.” Later in the day, several team owners weighed in. Below are many of the statements.

Giants owners Steve Tisch and John Mara:

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross:

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Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says he was open to signing Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick Castro

There has been a lot of talk about NFL owners blocking their football people from signing Colin Kaepernick, but Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross insists that was not the case with his team after Ryan Tannehill got hurt.

Ross was a special guest at the “Detroit Homecoming” event Thursday night, which brought together successful natives of Detroit including Ross, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and NBA star Draymond Green. The subject of Kaepernick’s national anthem protest came up at one point, and Ross said it did not deter him from employing the quarterback.

The Dolphins chose to sign Jay Cutler instead of Kaepernick, which makes sense in their situation. Head coach Adam Gase worked with Cutler when the two were with the Denver Broncos, and Cutler enjoyed the most success of his career during that time.

For other teams, it’s much harder to believe that football factors were the only consideration in passing on Kaepernick. When you see someone like Scott Tolzien looking completely lost in Week 1, you have to wonder if the Indianapolis Colts would be better off with Kaepernick whether he fits their system or not.

One report claimed the Baltimore Ravens did not sign Kaepernick because their ownership blocked the move, but Ray Lewis has his own explanation for why the team decided against it.