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Dolphins’ Stills: Jay-Z’s role ‘doesn’t sit right with me’

Field Level Media

August 20, 2019 at 1:14 am.

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills is the latest high-profile NFL voice to speak out against the role hip-hop entrepreneur Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter wants to play in a partnership with the league.

Stills, one of three NFL players who continue to kneel during the national anthem in a movement basically started by quarterback Colin Kaepernick to protest social injustice, said Monday that Carter’s partnership with the league and the “we’ve moved past kneeling” comments the rapper made during an introductory news conference last week don’t “sit right with me.”

“He could have reached out to Colin,” Stills said. “He could have reached out to me. 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.

“I wonder how many common people that he knows or that he’s spoken to,” Stills continued. “I wonder if he’s read my Facebook comments or my Instagram comments or some of the things that people say to me. … To be able to speak on it and say we’re moving past something — it didn’t seem very informed.”

Known for his work with the community in past years, Stills, a two-time Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, added, “I felt like (Carter) really discredited Colin and myself and the work that’s being done in our communities. What’s fueling everything now is division. I wish it was handled in a different way.”

Before a preseason game on Friday, Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid kneeled in silent protest. After the loss to the Buffalo Bills, he slammed Carter’s role.

“Jay-Z made a money move. He’s capitalized on this situation. Nobody to my knowledge talked about social justice before Colin started protesting,” said Reid, a former San Francisco 49ers teammate and close friend of Kaepernick. “That was not a topic of the NFL off the field. For Jay-Z to come in and partner to address social justice, do it behind Colin’s back, get paid to do it … I don’t have words.”

Reid also suggested the NFL is using Carter as cover for Kaepernick still not having an NFL job.

“The (injustice) that’s happened to Colin, they get to say, ‘Look, we care about social justice, we care about the black community because we’re with Jay-Z,'” Reid said.

Carter defended the entertainment deal his company made with the NFL last week during a press conference with commissioner Roger Goodell as the league makes Roc Nation its “official live music entertainment strategists,” with the group expected to play a major role in major events like the Super Bowl halftime show.

“We forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice,” Carter said. “In that case, this is a success. This is the next phase. There (are) two parts of protesting. You go outside and you protest, and then the company or the individual says, ‘I hear you. What do we do next?'”

Regarding Carter, Stills added on Monday, “I’m going to try to give this man the benefit of the doubt for now, but it doesn’t sit right with me. It’s not something I agree with or respect.”