Dolphins owner leaves NFL social justice committee after hosting Trump fundraiser

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Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, has stepped down from the NFL’s social justice committee after sparking controversy by hosting a top-dollar fundraiser for President Trump.

Former NFL star Chris Long first revealed the news in an interview with Sports Illustrated. He was describing the work of the NFL Players Coalition, which was founded in 2017 to make “an impact on social justice and racial equality at the federal, state and local levels,” according to its website. The group’s work ranges from advocating for criminal justice legislation to holding forums on police accountability. 

“We just removed, or got Stephen Ross to agree to be off of our working group, so we can make decisions like that,” Long said in the interview. 

{mosads}After Long revealed that Ross had been removed, the Miami Dolphins released a statement that Ross “made the decision” to focus his work at the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE). RISE is a nonprofit, founded by the businessman in 2015, that works to educate and empower “the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations,” according to its website. 

“Stephen made the decision last week and informed the NFL and members of the working committee that he was going to step aside from the group and continue to focus his efforts on RISE,” a Dolphins spokesman said in a statement, Sports Illustrated reported. “He believes in and is still fully committed to the work that has been done by the group and will always be a passionate supporter and tireless advocate for social justice causes, the fight for equal rights and education.” 

Long spoke about his comments later on Twitter, criticizing Trump for calling NFL players “sons of bitches” at a rally in Alabama in 2017, where he also called for NFL players who kneel or protest during the national anthem to be fired by the league. 

“Just read every mention here and they’re all pretty shortsighted. We’ve worked w a number of owners who lean conservative and have even supported trump in the past,” he tweeted. “However (and I have no idea why I’m explaining this because you’ll never concede the point) … 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.” 

Ross held the fundraiser for Trump’s reelection in the Hamptons earlier this month. It was reportedly expected to raise an estimated $10 million for the campaign. But the fundraiser brought controversy, with critics calling for a boycott of other businesses Ross owns or is invested in, like the popular gyms Equinox and SoulCycle. 

Tags Donald Trump National Football League Stephen Ross

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