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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Brian Flores Loads Practice Playlist With Jay-Z Tracks One Day After Kenny Stills Criticizes NFL's Roc Nation Partnership

Illustration for article titled Brian Flores Loads Practice Playlist With Jay-Z Tracks One Day After Kenny Stills Criticizes NFLs Roc Nation Partnership
Photo: Wilfredo Lee (AP)

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and wide receiver Kenny Stills have not been on the same page when it comes to Stills speaking out about systemic racism. A couple weeks back, Flores delivered a weak-sauce admonishment when Stills criticized owner Stephen Ross’s hefty support of Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. Now, after Stills criticized the presentation of the NFL’s sleazy new media deal with Roc Nation, Flores seems to have found an even more obnoxious way of needling his receiver.

Stills spoke Monday about the league’s unlikely-as-hell live-game entertainment/social justice arrangement, and especially with how it was depicted by Jay-Z and Roger Goodell. Stills took particular exception to Jay-Z’s line about now being “time for action,” and some ill-defined “we” having “moved past kneeling.” To Stills, this point essentially echoes the bad-faith arguments of MAGA shitheads, who’ve lazily and inaccurately accused NFL players protesting police brutality and systemic racism during pregame national anthem ceremonies of preferring symbolic action to real action. From an ESPN summary:

“Some of the ways he answered his questions, talking about we’re moving past kneeling, like he ever protested. He’s not a NFL player. He’s never been on a knee. Choosing to speak for the people like he had spoken to the people. ... I wonder how many common people that he knows or has spoken to. I wonder if he’s read my Facebook comments or my Instagram comments or some of the things people say to me. To say we’re moving past something, it didn’t seem very informed.


“I felt like [Jay-Z] really discredited Colin [Kaepernick] and myself and the work that’s being done in our communities,” said Stills, who has been the Dolphins’ two-time Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee due to the work he does in the community.


Stills was less scathing and more willing to extend the benefit of the doubt to Jay-Z than Panthers safety and fellow protestor Eric Reid, but he disapprovingly described the partnership as the NFL “shifting the problem onto Roc Nation and Shawn Carter’s shoulders instead of themselves.” Meanwhile, while Stills was composing himself and thoughtfully answering difficult questions about the sleaziness of the league that employs him, his head coach was busy putting together a practice playlist that sure seems like it was designed to get under Stills’s skin. Check this shit out:

The Dolphins were reportedly adamant that this choice of music was not designed “to disrespect Stills,” but the best anyone could come up with is that Flores was perhaps making a cosmic-brained attempt to prepare Stills for the distractions of crowd noise. Flores himself hasn’t explained the playlist, and team spokespeople reportedly “did not have an explanation.” I’m sure it was just a harmless coincidence! So everything is just hunky dory down in Miami, from the sound of it.

Staff Writer, Deadspin

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