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The Miami Dolphins Fundraising Scandal Explained

A story of an owner, a wide receiver, and political hypocrisy.


Another NFL season is about to get underway, which means that the perpetually drama-filled league has another controversy on its hands.

This particular dispute began when Kenny Stills, a wide receiver for the Dolphins, called out Stephen Ross, the billionaire owner of the team, for hosting a Trump reelection fundraiser at his Hamptons home. Tickets to the event ranged from $100,000 for a photo-op and lunch to $250,000 for a private roundtable discussion with the president, whatever the hell that entails.

Stills pointed to the mission statement of a non-profit Ross runs—”to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations”—as evidence of his boss’s hypocrisy in hosting the event.

Stills has a point. To raise money for a guy who took out a full-page ad to get five innocent black kids killed, who pushed the conspiracy theory that the first black president wasn’t America, and who said a group of nonwhite nations were “shithole” countries runs counter to social justice.

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores pushed for both men to have a phone conversation. It lasted less than five minutes.

“[I]n our conversation, he thought he could play both sides and I thought that he couldn’t. And that was it. No hard feelings,” Stills said of the call.

“At some point, we all have to draw a line in the sand when it comes to associating ourselves and funding campaigns for people that are inciting violence and hate and evil,” he continued.

“So it was important to me to let people know that it’s not about politics, it’s not about really choosing sides — Republican, Democrat, whatever — it’s really just about good human beings and bad human beings and the place that we’re in as a country and the bad example that we’re setting for the rest of the world.”

Stills is signed with the Dolphins through the next two seasons, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Ross keeps his political activity under wraps while the receiver remains in his employ.