Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) heaped praise upon Miami Dolphins wide receiver and outspoken anthem protester Kenny Stills on Wednesday.
Though, the cause for Rubio’s accolades had less to do with Stills’ protests and more to do with his community service.
Rubio captioned a tweet referencing Stills’ recent visit to a veterans hospital, and lauded the player for his efforts:
No @NFL player does more community service than @KStills of the @MiamiDolphins. You don’t have to agree with how or why he has chosen to exercise the 1st Amendment before every game to acknowledge the hours he gives voluntarily,on his day off,to serve his fellow Americans. https://t.co/3C7IL4sztP
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) September 12, 2018
Stills was one of ten NFL players who protested over the weekend, and one of only two who took a knee.
As the Hill points out, this is not the first time the Florida senator has voiced support for an NFL anthem protester. In May, Rubio told TMZ Sports that he supported former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s right to protest.
“Look, I support his right to stand for what he does. I don’t agree with what he did but I support his right to do it,” Rubio said.
Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance against the NFL earlier this year alleging that the league’s owners had conspired under pressure from President Trump, to keep him out of the league. The former 49er’s legal team won their summary judgment case against the league last week, meaning that the case can now proceed to the trial phase.
The NFL changed their anthem policy in May, requiring all players on the field to stand and show respect during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. However, the NFLPA filed a grievance against the league, accusing the NFL of not including them in the decision making process. The NFL then suspended the enforcement provisions of the new rule, until the two sides could come to a compromise on a new rule.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn