Dolphins’ Stills lends ear to Kaepernick.
Stills reaches out to free agent QB Kaepernick
MIAMI BEACH — Kenny Stills hasn’t been afraid to speak his mind on social issues, considering the Dolphins wide receiver chose to kneel during the national anthem last season.
Recently, he reached out to quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the pioneer of the anthem kneeling movement, who has been unable to find a job in the league this offseason.
“Iwanted to tell him that I admire everything that he’s been doing,” Stills said Friday at the Fins Weekend golf tournament at Miami Beach Country Club.
“I gave him my number to reach out to say, ‘Hey, if there’s anything I can do to be a part, I’m here.’ ”
Kaepernick, who spent all six of his NFL seasons with San Francisco, is a free agent and there’s wide belief that he hasn’t been signed by a team because of his national anthem protests and outspokenness on social issues.
Among Dolphins players, Stills, safety Michael Thomas, running back Arian Foster and linebacker Jelani Jenkins all took part in similar anthem protests last year, which they said was intended to bring attention to social injustices. Jenkins did it for one game, Foster did it until retiring in October, and Stills and Thomas did it the whole season.
Stills, who finished with 42 receptions, 726 yards and nine touchdowns, said he’s not surprised Kaepernick remains unemployed.
“That’s just sometimes the way things
“I wanted to tell him that I admire everything that he’s been doing.” Kenny Stills, Dolphins WR on reaching out to Colin Kaepernick
go,” Stills said. “Obviously, I’m a supporter of his. He’s a great player, regardless of the things he’s done off the field. I think he should be on a team.”
Stills, who won the Dolphins’ Nat Moore Community Service Award for his charitable work last season, said being at events such as Friday’s golf tournament, which benefits City Year Miami, has always been a priority.
“It was something that was important to me, especially after we took a knee, that I was out in the community,” he said. “It really just helped me with a tough time we were going through. I knew itwas coming after taking a knee. I just didn’t realize how bad itwas going to be.
“Getting in the community, working with the kids, was away that I felt like I could get out andmake a change. Iwant to be here in Miami for a long time, and obviously I signed my extension, so I’m going to be here. Just making a difference in the community, making a difference in the young kids’ lives, because I know they’re the future generations. I know they’re going to be running this country.”
As for the four-year, $32 million contract extension, Stills said it confirms the Dolphins’ message that if players work hard, the team will reward them.
“I think that was a big focus of this team this offseason— you get [linebacker] Kiko [Alonso] back, you get me back, you get [defensive end Andre] Branch back,” Stills said. “The guys knowin this building that if you work hard, you’ll be rewarded for it. I think that’s something other players around the league will notice.”
And just as Stills was one of the hardest-working players last offseason, according to coaches, he hasn’t been resting this offseason, either. Coach Adam Gase and offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said Stills has taken even more of a leadership role in the wide receivers’ room.
“I have themost years in the league in our room, but we’re all pretty much the same age,” said Stills, 25, a fifth-year player who spent his first two seasons in New Orleans. “I was lucky enough to come in the league with [wide receiver] Lance Moore, [wide receiver] Marques Colston, play with [quarterback] Drew Brees. I just watched what they did and I try to imitate those things, because those guys won a Super Bowl.
“Drew Brees is going to be in the Hall of Fame. I just try to imitate those things and try to bring them into the Dolphins. And hope that we can go in that direction.”
Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills said he’s not surprised ex-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed.