Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills believes if the NFL listened to Colin Kaepernick’s message back in 2016 when he knelt during the national anthem to bring awareness to social injustice, the league could have saved lives.
Stills shared his thoughts on social media in response to a video of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell being interviewed by Fox Sports 1’s Emmanuel Acho during his video series called, “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.”
“He can say whatever he wants to say now, but in a sense, if we would have taken a more stern stance and he would have listened to us in the beginning of this, there would have been so many lives that could have been saved,” Stills said. “There’s a lot of progress that we could have made within our law enforcement, within our police, so it’s a nice gesture, I guess, to say he wishes he would have done something different, but look at the NFL.
The NFL needs to do a better job at listening to players, understanding their issues and doing something about them.
“We’re supposed to be the leaders in our country, and I feel like we figure out a way always to be … We’re reactive instead of proactive when it comes to a lot of the issues in our country and within the league as well.”
Stills, who will look to be Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson’s favorite targets in 2020, actually considered opting out due to the coronavirus pandemic, and because of what is “going on in our country right now.” But he has decided to play, and will be a nice weapon for Watson, alongside wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller.
“I feel like sports really are a distraction,” Stills said. “I feel like there are other things that are more important than playing football or playing sports at the moment. So a lot of things went into the decision to opt-out or play.
Ultimately, he decided that he can do more good playing as a member of the team.
“I felt like, after speaking with people that I was close to and some of my teammates, that I can be more of a benefit to this team and this movement on the inside, trying to be a leader,” Still said. “I’m working with my teammates, working with the staff here, working with the league, and knowing who our audience is, trying to have as big of an impact and influence on them as I can.”