Dolphins owner Stephen Ross leaves NFL's social justice committee amid Trump backlash

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Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross removed himself from his post on the NFL’s social justice committee amid backlash for his financial support of President Donald Trump.

Ross, a founding member, leaves a committee made up of former and current NFL players and team owners intended to address social justice issues.

“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,” the Dolphins’ Tuesday statement said. “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.”

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Ross has drawn criticism for hosting a fundraiser supporting Trump at the beginning of the month. The Dolphins’ Kenny Stills called out Ross for supporting Trump while also championing the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), a nonprofit with the mission to “eliminate racial discrimination” and “improve race relations.” 

Former NFL defensive end Chris Long, a committee member, told NBC Sports the Players Coalition was in the process of removing Ross off the working group. 

“(Ross) held a fundraiser for a guy (Trump) who called protesting players ‘sons of bitches’ + campaigned for them to lose jobs,” Long tweeted Tuesday. “The working group (NFL’s social justice committee) 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.”

Trump raised $12 million at two fundraisers Aug. 9, including the one hosted by Ross for RISE, according to the Republican National Committee. 

After calling out Ross out, Stills said last week he spoke to the Dolphins owner over the phone and the two “agreed to disagree” over what Stills sees as contradictory nature of Ross’ friendship with Trump and his support for RISE. 

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