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If You Thought Football Was Done with Activism, the NFL and Miami Dolphins Will Remind You Otherwise

August 22, 2019 - 6:30am
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross

The owner of the Miami Dolphins, Stephen Ross, has made it a particular cause of his to work intently on social justice programs. His own organization, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) addresses a number of issues in the community. 

Along with that, Ross began a franchise effort with team players to start a fund for various social programs, with the added work of highlighting various groups and organizations at Dolphin home games.

Despite these efforts, and a significant amount of donations behind them, Ross has been forced out of an NFL social justice committee he had been a part of. Initially the official statement had been that Ross had decided to step down from the committee -- of which he was a founding member. But in a new interview, former player and committee member Chris Long revealed that Ross was actually forced out of the group. Have a look at this.

Kenny Stills
Kenny Stills
“We just removed, or got Stephen Ross to agree to be off a working group,” Long said. The reason for this stems from what has become a ridiculous controversy -- Ross held a fundraiser for President Trump’s reelection. This raised the ire of player Kenny Stills, the most outspoken of the players on the roster, and one who has continued the practice of kneeling during the national anthem. Read this.

This is a perfect representation of the myopic vision these football activists have held during the recent upheavals; they should be respected and even honored for their political positions, but anyone else is not granted the same level of respect if they have a differing view. If they oppose the president, by example, they deserve to be patted on the back for speaking their mind. Support the president, however, and your political opinion needs to be punished. It is infantile thinking, and yet these same minds are demanding to be respected.

Ross did not sit back and take his “deserved” punishment. In response to the ouster, he released this 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 who address these challenges.”

It used to be that we could turn to the mindlessness of a Sunday schedule of football to provide a respite from the political and social upheaval. It has been years since we've had such luxury, with such an insistence from many players to inject socio-political commentary into the proceedings, and it only appears to continue.

Initially, NFL commissioner Roger Gooddell was permissive of the activity. So much so that a few seasons back he was on broadcasts giving voice to his support to players expressing their opinions, but at the same time stating he would fine any players who wore cleats commemorating the 9/11 tragedy, when games fell on the anniversary. But then things changed. Specifically, for the first time in decades the league experienced a drop in attendance at games and ratings on television. Suddenly, players kneeling became an issue to be addressed.

So the league, and the Miami Dolphins in particular, are still struggling with the environment they have created. An owner who is doing far more than giving lip service to social causes is pushed out of a social-cause group he helped create, all because of his political affiliation. The people who think this was the wise move demand that we take their views seriously. 

But this is the same crowd that has for years said anyone who disagrees with the practice of kneeling during the anthem is being intolerant, or worse. They should be praised for the way they express themselves, we are lectured, but those who express disagreement are scorned. And they still do not see the contradiction in their message, nor the lack of communication they display.

I had been a Dolphins fan for decades. When players in Miami years ago began kneeling, I began to walk away. It was not out of protest -- they killed any passion I had for the team. And they fail to see the bile in their messaging is not helping their cause. When I voiced opposition to the disrespect shown during the anthem, I was called a “racist” by some. If they think that's a way to get a mind to change, they are only continuing their practice of ill-thought-out messaging. 

Chasing away an owner who has been a driving force for the social activism they claim to support only proves I haven't been missing anything of substance in the NFL these recent years. The National Hockey League season opener is Oct. 2, between the St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals.

Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.



I am making 10,000 Dollar at home own laptop .Just do work online 2 to 4 hour proparly . so i make my family happy and u can do ........

We hear you Hillary. Glad to see you've found employment. Now move along...


I miss the old days when the good citizens of Miami could just rise up, grab a weasel like Stephen Ross, tar and feather him, and run him out of town on a rail. It's like we just blinked our eyes and became a communitty of gutless sissies. Darn.

This is what we call "the clincher": I gave up NFL games since "poodle headed" Kaepernik disrespected OUR Country; It's a silly "game" boys & girls, nothing more, nothing less ! Want to immerse yourselves in "social causes"?.. go on down to your local neighborhood church.... (Oh yeah,..traded my Nikes for Sketchers, and never been happier !) GO RAYS !

I used to have a favorite NFL team until the NFL decided to be the Democrat party football league. They picked a bad time to embrace left-wing politics with all the streaming options now available. I haven't watched the NFL in two years. I might check out the XFL if they can keep their nose clean.

Good thing you gave up watching football because with those blinders on. I don’t know how you were even watching the game.

Do you think before you write such idiotic crap?

Multiple studies have shown over and over again that the vast majority of avid football fans in general and, especially, NFL fans, are rabid Republicans. Trump's puerile pep rallies look like a collection of the most fanatical fanatics at any NFL game! And - football is especially favored in the southern Red states! (Those same studies have shown that Democrats favor basketball and, especially, the NBA.)

If these “studies” actually exist then it shows just how stupid the NFL is in embracing these leftist policies.

That's a very questionable "if". VoteDem2020 has developed a solid reputation as a radicalized democrat. He regularly pulls shady "facts" out of his *** and presents them as the results of "studies". At least his diet of fiction, with side orders of fakery and farce keep him regular.

People on their own time do have the right to protest, voice their opinion and focus attention on issues they think are important. Unfortunately, football team owners can do the same if league rules don't prohibit it. Even more unfortunate is the way fans will accept without question the opinions of these people and follow them.....Even if it is to the edge of a cliff and over. Personally, there are artists that I admire for their ability and they have a different political opinion than mine.....AND STILL DO. Celebrity opinions should not carry the weight it does, but some people. Well............ Let the players and owners do what they will. Sheeple will follow whom ever they want. Lost is the thinking individual.

I question anyone's sanity if they are taking their political cues from a pro athlete, Hollywood type or entertainer.. If they do, it shows how shallow and intellectually compromised they are. If anyone is capable of scratching below the surface they will see what a fallacy the perceived 'injustices' are, not just for blacks but all races and ethnicities. One need not be a Rhodes Scholar to see the core root of the issues of 'Police Brutality' directly stems from criminals failing to heed lawful commands from a law enforcement office of all stripes. Resisting arrest, fleeing and eluding are telltale signs of guilt. Period. And when there is no respect for the law chaos ensues. If these high profile types were really serious about minimizing these confrontations from ending with a bad outcome, they need to be logical and well reasoned with their message. I believe if a Public Service Announcement was plastered across all media spectrums urging the public at large to obey the commands of law enforcement instead of resisting, perhaps fewer bad encounters would result. That is if they are truly committed to sending a positive message rather than spewing some liberal pabulum.

You do know our President was a reality TV star?

And right now he's a rock star!

Why did one whiny little homie have the power to get the GROUP FOUNDER kicked out? Why wasn't Kenny Stills kicked out? I would take my money and start a new more diverse and inclusive group? If Stills is so unhappy in America, he has the money to immigrate anywhere. He can even go back to Africa where there is NO injustice toward Blacks. After all, look how well the Black people of Uganda and Rawanda have treated each other!

If you would actually create a "more diverse and inclusive" group, then telling a black guy "go back to Africa," may not be the best way to start. You know what I mean?

Ultimately they can do whatever they want. But it would probably be better for them to keep the politics out of sports because they can potentially lose half their fan base. They certainly lost me as a fan as long as they allow players to be political in front of paying customers.

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