Is Rubio right about Kenny Stills?
Bottom Line: These are stories you shouldn't miss and my takes on them...
Excerpt: President Donald Trump again this week went after the NFL and players who kneel during the national anthem.
But a key member of his own party, Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio, has a different take.
Rubio, who lost to Trump in the Republican presidential primary in 2016, expressed support for Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills on social media Wednesday.
Rubio wrote: “No @NFL player does more community service than @KStills of the @MiamiDolphins. You don’t have to agree with how or why he has chosen to exercise the 1st Amendment before every game to acknowledge the hours he gives voluntarily,on his day off,to serve his fellow Americans.”
Hot Take: The most cynical will immediately attempt to discern the political calculation Marco made when sending this message out but that’s not at all what’s happening here. Aside from being a die-hard Dolphins fan (who correctly predicted the Dolphins would go 10-6 and make the playoffs in 2016 when I pressed him in a preseason interview), he’s been incredibly consistent. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a more outspoken Congressman supporting Colin Kaepernick’s case than Marco. It’s rarely made news, but Marco has long suggested that Kaepernick belonged in the NFL in the wake of his protests.
The question becomes what you make of it. Does Marco have a point about Kenny’s actions off the field aiding credibility for him to protest on it? If you’ve opposed the protests but generally support Marco, are you influenced by his argument? For me it’s a straight-forward. I have a dividing line between Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the protesters I nicknamed the merry band of ignorant ingrates. Colin’s in his own category in my book. He was the leader of this movement, but his actions also went much further than any other player demonstrating a level of depravity well beyond that of Kenny or other protesters. Colin’s depicting of police officers as pigs on his clothing, while in uniform no less, was the basis for his protest. This while his girlfriend participated in and aided rallies where protesters chanted “police are pigs fry them like bacon”. We had a corresponding increase in violence against police officers nationally including a spike in murders of police officers, including some by perpetrators with direct ties to the protest movement led by Kaepernick and his girlfriend. I’ll put this a different way. There are children without a parent and widows without their soulmate because of what he and his girlfriend stood for and helped incite. It’s about so much more than football with him.
As for the rest of the protesters including Kenny. For my interest it’s a “whatever”. To the extent that I’m annoyed by it, I blame the league not them. In the real world if you showed up to work and began politically protesting in front of your customers and clients, to the strong displeasure of many of them, there would be consequences. In the altered state of reality in the NFL right now they’ve decided it’s - whatever it is right now (I’m pretty sure they don’t even know what their policy or opinion is). As I’ve mentioned I don’t do boycotts and still watch the NFL when it’s entertaining to me. That just happens to be less than once upon a time because I don’t find protests and the discussion of them entertaining. But whatever it’s a game. Much different than the lives of officers who put their lives on the line to keep us and them safe every day. This takes me to the next and final point.
I appreciate the apparent work Kenny Stills puts into making a difference in the community and I wasn’t really aware prior to Marco bringing this to the forefront. That’s terrific! I do have a question however...If this message of social injustice is so important to Kenny and company, why haven’t they saved the lives of people? You know, pulled a Kardashian? President Trump offered any protesting NFL player the opportunity to bring forward any cases of injustice they’re aware of and he’d consider pardons for them a la Alice Marie Johnson. So, here’s Kenny Stills. A person with a near unique opportunity to literally and personally undo the very wrongs he’s protesting and educate the President personally on the wrongs they believe he doesn’t understand. He nor any of the others have even attempted to do so. What’s that say? And to quote the greatest modern philosopher... “And that’s all I’ve got to say about that”.