Miami Dolphins head coach, Brian Flores, raised a few eyebrows this week with his decision to play eight straight Jay-Z songs during practice on Tuesday. Flores’ decision to bump Hov came after wide receiver Kenny Stills spoke out about Jay-Z’s controversial social justice partnership with the NFL, which led many to believe his action was in response to Stills’ statements.
However, during a postgame press conference on Thursday, Flores explained the reasoning behind his music selection. “What you don’t know is that I walked up to Kenny in front of the entire group and said, ‘This is a challenge to you to get open, catch the football and make plays for this team regardless of what’s going on,’” Flores said.
Brian then revealed his support for NFL players who use their platform to raise awareness for social justice issues. “The next day … I got up in front of the team, and I told them that I support Kenny,” Flores continued. “I support Kenny. I support the player protests. Quite honestly, they’re bringing attention to my story. So, let’s talk about that.”
“I’m the son of immigrants. I’m black. I grew up poor. I grew up in New York during the stop-and-frisk era. I’ve been stopped because I fit a description before. So everything that these guys protests, I’ve lived it. I experienced it. I applaud those guys who protest. Whether it’s [Colin] Kaepernick or Eric Reid or Kenny, I applaud those guys.”
Stills didn’t seem too bothered during practice and even spoke on the matter, as if the music playing was a failed attempt to rattle his feathers. “We talked about it in-house, and he handled it in-house,” said Stills.
“For the most part, I think it was him seeing if I could handle if people were going to heckle me or play Jay-Z in another stadium if I could be mentally strong enough to handle that sort of treatment. I’ve been dealing with this since 2016 — music, boos, racial slurs. So I don’t think a little Jay-Z music is going to ruffle my feathers that bad.”
“Everything that these guys protest, I’ve lived it. I’ve experienced it.”
Dolphins coach Brian Flores opened up about Kenny Stills and player protests.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 23, 2019