We can officially classify the USA Today's Jarrett Bell as a multi-tasking sports writer and social justice warrior. He's earned his spurs ― if that isn't too militaristic a word for sensitive progressives ― especially after today's puff piece lathering praise upon the Miami Dolphins' receiver/anthem kneeler Kenny Stills. Bell writes that "Activist and Trump critic Kenny Stills is the kind of player every NFL team needs".
"Check that. Every team needs more than a few good men like the Miami Dolphins receiver," Bell adds. "It helps the football purpose that he can haul in a spiral on a deep post and seal the edge on a sweep. But we’re talking conscience here."
In Bell's words, Stills courageously slammed his boss, Dolphins' owner Stephen Ross as a "major league hypocrite" for hosting a fundraiser for President Donald Trump on Friday in the Hamptons. Ross is the same man who created the Ross Initiative in Sports and Equality, which is a nonprofit that "pledges to eradicate the type of racial animosity that Trump fuels."
"You can’t have a nonprofit with this mission statement then open your doors to Trump," Stills tweeted.
You also can’t question Stills’ heart, writes Bell. "He’s one of just three NFL players, along with fellow Dolphins' wide receiver Albert Wilson and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, who has still taken a knee during the anthem with the spirit that got Colin Kaepernick blackballed from the league. ..."
"Now this. Hardly a shock to me," writes Bell, who visited his man Stills after a practice this week and found him to be resolute in continuing to use his NFL platform to serve "a greater good."
That "greater good" is serving as the Dolphins' "resident voice of conscience" on gun laws. Stills is concerned about the so-called tepid response from lawmakers after the Dayton and El Paso murders, and he put down America as the so-called greatest nation because it can't keep people safe like more enlightened countries do.:
“We need common-sense gun laws to try to get rid of some of these automatic weapons. Honestly, I think other nation have laid the foundation or shown how it can be done. We talk about being the greatest country in the world, but sometimes we’ve got to follow what other people have done. There are other countries that have done a better job of keeping their people safe. We should get with them and figure out, ‘Hey, how are you doing this? How can we institute some of the laws and things that you are doing to make our people feel safe?’“
“It’s not that complicated,” Stills says. “It’s all about money and fear. We’ve got to start taking automatic weapons out of people’s hands so that they don’t do the type of damage that they’re doing.
“We’ve got to get a person that’s leading us to stop inputting fear into people’s minds. That’s what everything is based on, all these decisions and tragedies that are happening. … It’s all about fear.” Bell is convinced Stills was talking about the president.
Bell credits Stills for participating in the 2018 March for Our Lives in Washington that was organized by high school students. He also recognizes Stills as the Dolphins’ Man of the Year award winner for three years in a row because he pursues "so many social justice initiatives and engaged in building bridges between police and the African-American community. Like Kaepernick, he is appalled by instances in which unarmed African-Americans were killed by police."
Stills doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, Bell concludes, "but he sure expresses a lot of common sense that in so many ways illustrates that he is clearly, well, a man on the rise."