receiver released a revealing short documentary that attempts to explain the reasons behind his decision to kneel during the national anthem since 2016.
In the mini documentary, which is titled “Kenny Stills,” he said he was inspired to join ’s crusade designed to create awareness for social justice issues in America after finding himself distraught over the 2016 shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two unarmed men who were fatally shot by police officers in the same month.
“I don’t think people really understand what it’s like to look in the mirror and feel like you’re not important, nobody gives a s—,” said Stills, who has spent the past three seasons as the Dolphins starting flanker. “If you didn’t play football you’re irrelevant, because of your skin tone.
“I didn’t choose this [skin]. I was born [like] this. This is me,” Stills said explaining his experience as a person of color in the documentary. “Did I do something wrong? Or I was just born so I’m wrong?”
Stills was one of four Dolphins players who knelt during the playing of the national anthem in the 2016 season opener, and with the exception of the 2017 season opener, he’s knelt in every regular-season game he’s played in since.
As a result of taking his political stance, Stills admits “I found myself in the center of the storm” and confesses that he’s received death threats from those who view is protest as an unpatriotic act.
This season fellow Dolphins receiver Albert Wilson joined Stills, kneeling alongside him since the opener, .
The Dolphins are optimistic that Stills’ groin strain will be healed in a week or two, but coach Adam Gase said the plan is to not rush him back, fearing that he could suffer a setback that would keep him sidelined even longer.
When Stills, who has contributed 16 receptions for 281 yards and scored four touchdown this season, resumes playing, he’ll resume kneeling because he’s “committed to activism for the rest of my life” he says at the end of the documentary.
He still receives hate mail, and the combative discussions that often turn into opportunities to educate on social media are still taking place. The documentary is likely an extension of those efforts.
Lately, Stills has been recommending documentaries to those who have questions. He recommends they watch a documentary called “13th” on Netflix, which analyzes the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom, and “Crime + Punishment,” a film in which New York City officers expose corruption in their department.
Stills, who won the Dolphins’ Nat Moore Community Service Award for 2016 and 2017 for his work in the community, feels like the should be doing a better job of educating the fan base about social justice issues.
“The NFL could‘ve done a better job of controlling the narrative from the beginning,” Stills said earlier this season when addressing Nike using Kaepernick as the face of their latest “Just Do It” campaign.
“I think if the NFL did something like Nike did — some sort of campaign, explain this whole situation, have our backs, supporting us and our First Amendment right — then this thing would‘ve gone in a whole different direction.”
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