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NFL

Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross Leaves NFL Social Justice Committee After Throwing Trump Fundraiser

The NFL Social Justice Initiative gave Ross his walking papers.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Jay-Z was attacked by some of his most loyal fans and supporters after announcing his entertainment and social justice partnership with the NFL, critics coming for him with accusations that he sold out Colin Kaepernick through his partnership with a league that has blackballed the former 49ers’ QB.  

Jay-Z’s power move has created a civil war of opinion within the Black community. People either agree with Hov’s NFL partnership or adamantly disagree with it. 

That’s part of the reason why Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has stepped down from the NFL’s social justice committee. Ross was criticized for hosting a fundraiser for President Trump last week, a move which directly conflicts with his position on social justice and race. Trump, as we know, has been an enemy of Colin Kaepernick and NFL players kneeling, and remains an instigator in the contentious relationship between the fans, players and owners. 

 

Ross has good intentions, but you have to look at a guy who burns the candle at both ends.

In addition to serving on the social justice committee, Ross has his own social justice nonprofit called RISE, or Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, which makes his support of Trump even more puzzling and frustrating.

According to a Sports Illustrated interview with player Chris Long, the NFL Social Justice Initiative pressured the Dolphins owner into removing himself because he was a Trump supporter.

With the tension surrounding this past week’s events still bubbling — having a white owner who appears to be disguising his loyalty to Trump through showing interest in social justice initiatives — just doesn’t work for the movement. 

“Stephen made the decision last week and informed the NFL and members of the working committee that he was going to step aside from the group and continue to focus his efforts at RISE” said a Dolphins spokesperson in response to Long’s comments.

Ross, worth almost $7.7 billion, had been a longtime GOP donor but it wasn’t until his posh fundraiser, where guests contributed up to $250,000 for Trump’s reelection, that calls arose to boycott two of Ross’ biggest businesses — SoulCycle and Equinox. Even actress Chrissy Teigen and MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski joined the boycott.

In response to criticisms for his Trump fundraiser, Ross said, “I have always been an active participant in the democratic process. While some prefer to sit outside of the process and criticize, I prefer to engage directly and support the things I deeply care about,” according to a statement via CBS Miami.

Ross justified his affiliations by saying that said he’s known Trump for 40 years, and they agree on some issues but strongly disagree on others. 

“I have been and will continue to be, an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education, and environmental sustainability, and I have and will continue to support leaders on both sides of the aisle to address these challenges,” Ross concluded.

Ross says he comes from nothing and understands where the players are coming from. However, the optics are really bad for the NFL at a time when the country is divided and individuals from celebrities to economic leaders are drawing a line in the sand on the issues of social injustice and police brutality. 

With Trump’s abusive history towards the NFL and its majority Black players, Ross clearly drew his line, so he had to go. 

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