WR Kenny Stills criticized Dolphins owner Stephen Ross on Twitter for hosting a fundraiser for President Donald Trump.
Dolphins coach Brian Flores said he supports Kenny Stills but wished the wide receiver would have handled his recent criticism of team owner Stephen Ross differently.
Flores talked with reporters about Stills's tweet from Wednesday, where the player called out Ross for hosting an upcoming fundraiser for President Donald Trump at his Long Island home.
"I talked to Kenny. The one thing I said to Kenny was—I understand kind of where Kenny is coming from," Flores told reporters on Thursday, per the Sun-Sentinel. "He wants to be a voice. I talked to him about that a couple of weeks ago. I understand him wanting to be a voice for people who don’t have a voice. I respect that.
"My conversation with Kenny, I asked him why he didn't talk to the owner, why he didn't talk to Steve [Ross] first before putting something out. And I think that's something that we have to do more of. There's got to be more communication, more conversation, more communication if we want to really make change. And I wish he would have done that. I told him that."
On Wednesday morning, Stills tweeted a screenshot of the mission statement from the team owner's non-profit "Ross Initiative in Sports and Equality." Stills captioned the photo: "You can’t have a non-profit with this mission statement then open your doors to Trump."
Ross released a statement later on Wednesday in response to Stills's tweet by saying he's known Trump for 40 years and agrees with him on some issues but "strongly disagree[s]" on others.
After Miami's 34–27 preseason win over the Falcons on Thursday night, Stills addressed the tweet.
"It doesn't make sense to me for him to be trying to, or to be supporting the man's campaign who seems to be against all of the things he is trying to work towards," he said.
"Someone has to have enough courage to let him know you can't play both sides of this. Maybe I shouldn’' have done it on social media, but I did. If you're going to associate yourself with bad people, then people are going to know about it."
Stills said he received several death threats after criticizing Ross and has started to distance himself from the RISE Foundation, who he previously worked with, due to a "gut feel," per ESPN. He hasn't spoken to Ross yet but hopes to soon.
"The tweet doesn’t put me against Mr. Ross," he said. "I don’t have any hard feelings toward him. There's no beef. It's just, 'Hey, these two things don't align and maybe somebody else hasn't told you, but I'm letting you know.' It's important to me that the work that we're doing isn't just lip service. It's real."