Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross announced that he stepped down from the NFL’s social justice committee to focus on RISE, a group he formed to fight discrimination.
The NFL owner created his Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) in 2015 to combat the “very complicated issues of racism” and to “eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.”
Ross was a founding member of the NFL’s social justice committee along with Arizona Cardinals Owner Michael Bidwill, Atlanta Falcons Owner Arthur Blank, and Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, ESPN reported.
But after Ross held a fundraiser for President Donald Trump, several players rose up to attack Ross and to agitate to have him removed from the social justice committee.
Ross hosted a fundraiser for the president in The Hamptons that featured a $250,000 price tag to attend. The event included lunch, a private round-table, and a photo, according to the Washington Post.
Several players were unhappy with the fundraiser. Dolphins player Kenny Stills, for one, criticized his employer for supporting Trump.
“You can’t have a non-profit with this mission statement then open your doors to Trump,” Stills tweeted on August 7.
— Kenny Stills (@KSTiLLS) August 7, 2019
Stills also slammed Ross during an interview in the Dolphins locker room.
“I think there’s other candidates that he could support,” Stills said. “It’s not about Democrat or Republican or any of those things. It’s literally about why. Why are you trying to help this man raise money to continue to do things that he’s been doing.
“It just doesn’t align to be running a non-profit focused on equality and talking about sports and equality and then to be holding a fundraiser for a man that we know isn’t standing up for that same cause or championing that same cause,” Stills added.
Among others, former player Chris Long also went on the attack against Ross on Twitter.
He held a fundraiser for a guy who called protesting players “sons of bitches” + campaigned for them to lose jobs. The working group is directly involved. You can see how that’s a conflict of interest that transcends politics. I respect SR’s work w RISE. Don’t get it? Can’t help.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) August 20, 2019
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.