Despite President Donald Trump’s rants, many — including Miami Dolphins player Kenny Stills — continue to seek to stick up for the underprivileged. He’s among the NFL players who have taken a knee during pre-game performances of the national anthem, continuing on with that peaceful protest during the opening of the 2018-2019 season. While controversy continues to rage on that front, Republican U.S. Senator from Florida Marco Rubio has chimed in to offer words of support.
He praised the player over the significant amount of community service work he occupies himself with. Stills posted images of him visiting with veterans this past Tuesday, to which Rubio replied by commenting:
‘No NFL player does more community service than Kenny Stills of the Miami Dolphins. 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.’
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. https://t.co/3C7IL4sztP
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) September 12, 2018
On Tuesday, Stills had been joined in his visits to veterans by fellow current player Albert Wilson and others, including former Dolphins player Mark Duper, cheerleaders, and even the team’s mascot. They stopped both at the Miami VA Healthcare System and the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in south Florida this week on the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks 17 years ago.
Miami VA health official Titilola Olugbakinro explained of the players’ visits:
‘Having them in the hospital is great for our veterans. They were so happy — they are very excited. Some of them are very sick and just seeing them just makes them so happy. I have a patient that told me that, “I saw them from the pain clinic. I was in pain — as soon as I saw them, the pain disappeared.” You couldn’t ask for more.’
To say that not everyone agrees with Rubio’s assessment of the situation would be a dramatic understatement, though.
President Trump has made attacking players who choose to peacefully protest during the national anthem a key part of his platform. He concerns himself more with pomp and circumstance associated with what’s in the end a piece of cloth than he does with the lives of those that piece of cloth are supposed to represent. The plight of black Americans is a very real issue in the United States — just look around. And yet, the president just keeps tweeting.
He’s among those who’ve expressed frustration in the wake of Nike elevating former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a new advertising campaign.
Kaepernick helped kick off the peaceful protests during the anthem in the 2016-2017 season — and he hasn’t been on a team since. He has a lawsuit against NFL officials alleging collusion to keep him off the field ready to go to trial, and in the meantime, Rubio has expressed support for his right to protest too.
No number of kind words will do away with either the fact that black Americans still face often dangerous circumstances or that the president continues to turn a blind eye to the issue.
Check out Twitter’s response below.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot