President Donald Trump again this week went after the NFL and players who kneel during the national anthem.
But a key member of his own party, Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio, has a different take.
Rubio, who lost to Trump in the Republican presidential primary in 2016, expressed support for Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills on social media Wednesday.
Rubio wrote: “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.”
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Rubio is an outspoken Dolphins fan whose wife Jeannette was a cheerleader in the late 1990s. He occasionally attends Dolphins practice as a guest of the organization.
Stills and fellow Dolphins receiver Albert Wilson were the only two players in the league to kneel during the anthem on Sunday. They did so to protest racial injustice and police brutality.
But Trump has seized on deep divides in this country over the issue, criticizing the league and its players for what he sees as a lack of respect for the flag.