Dolphins Coach Admits Jay-Z Playlist Was To ‘Challenge’ Kenny Stills

Brian Flores also said, “I support Kenny. I support player protests.”

So it seems Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores’ Jay-Z centric playlist at practice earlier this week was all about challenging wide receiver Kenny Stills, and nothing more. 

As reported by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Flores challenged Stills in front of the entire team to go out on the field and perform, despite the distractions going on outside the building. Flores said:

“So after the playlist was done, what you guys don’t know is 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 outside of this building. The next day — because there was a lot more attention paid to this than I ever would have imagined — I got up in front of the team and I told them that I support Kenny. I support Kenny. I support the player protests. I mean, quite honestly, they’re bringing attention to my story.”

Flores is referring to many questioning if his Jay-Z playlist was meant as a rebuttal to Stills’ critique of the NFL’s partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation company. 

Stills has been a vocal critic of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’ support of Donald Trump, and along with Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, protests during the national anthem before games. 

Until that quote from Flores, it was unclear where he stood as it relates to Stills’ protests. Flores wasn’t happy when Stills criticized Ross earlier this month. But it is clear he supports what Stills is protesting. Flores went on to say:

“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, so I’ve been stopped because I fit a description before. So everything that these guys protest, I’ve lived it. I’ve experienced it. So, yeah, I applaud those guys who protest. So whether it’s [Colin] Kaepernick or Eric Reid or Kenny, I applaud those guys. I told Kenny that in our meeting, in front of the entire team. So that’s where I stand on this thing, and I think it got — it got way more press than it needed to.” 

This is where the challenge lies for Flores, who, it should be noted, is a first-time head coach. 

He wants to get his entire team prepared and specifically wanted to challenge a key member of his football team. The issue of the NFL and how it handles player protests and the larger issue of social justice is a slippery slope.

As a Black man, Flores knows he can’t stay silent on this issue. But he has a job to do, and if there’s one thing coaches in the NFL hate, it’s distractions. Flores will continue to walk that fine line all season long.

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