Miami Dolphins gives team award to anthem-kneeling receiver

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The NFL’s Miami Dolphins announced the recipients of its team awards Wednesday, giving a community service award to a player who knelt during the national anthem in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Dolphins’ wide receiver Kenny Stills was given the Nat Moore Community Service Award for the second consecutive year.

According to Breitbart News, the award is the second honor Stills has received from the Dolphins in the last month. On Dec. 7, he was named as the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. Each season, NFL teams select one nominee who has had a “significant impact on his community” to be considered for the award. The winner is announced at the Super Bowl in early February.

“Stills is just the second offensive player in team history to win the Nat Moore Community Service Award in back-to-back seasons,” stated a news release from the Dolphins. “He is the team’s most active player in the South Florida community, making appearances and lending a hand nearly every single week. The team’s nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, Stills has become a pioneer among NFL players in addressing societal issues.”

The Dolphins went on to recognize Stills for his “advocacy for social justice and equal rights” which has led to a partnership with RISE (Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality).

“Along with RISE, Stills has helped organize police [ride-alongs] and CommUNITY tailgates, bringing local student-athletes, coaches, parents, community leaders, law enforcement and military personnel together at every Dolphins home game,” the news release stated. “Stills has used his platform to help inspire other NFL players to host similar programs in their local communities. Five other teams joined the effort and hosted their own ride alongs this season, encouraging dialogue and displaying the teamwork that unites communities and their NFL teams directly to youth in the area.”

Regarding kneeling during the playing of the national anthem, Stills said on Sept. 14: “In no way was my action intended to be a sign of disrespect to anyone. I love my country. And I have the utmost respect for the servicemen and women who have – for hundreds of years – sacrificed on our behalf. It is because of them that we have the freedom to help give a voice to the voiceless.”

Stills continued, “But it is time for us to come together in solidarity. To acknowledge, as a national community, that we have to treat each other with more love and respect. That the overwhelming number of innocent people being killed right in front of our eyes is wholly unacceptable. And to demand justice for the victims of these often senseless acts, together.”

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