Stephen Ross is the current owner of the Miami Dolphins, he is also a major investor in Equinox, and Soulcycle–two fitness brands. Ross is coming under fire because he is planning to host a fundraising event for Donald Trump at his home in Long Island, New York.
Trump himself is expected to attend the event, and will be taking photos for the small fee of $100,000, if that isn’t enough to satisfy you, you can purchase a chance to have a roundtable discussion with the controversial President for just a quarter-million dollars.
This is news that you think would likely go unnoticed, it’s a billionaire supporting another billionaire, in a party that is notoriously full of wealthy people. But in a week where tensions on political relations are high due to the tragedy of the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio both striking up the conversation of gun control once again, and centered around the controversial rhetoric spewed by Trump, this was not going to be overlooked.
After news emerged of Ross’ plan to host a fundraiser, people called to boycott Equinox and SoulCycle
High profiled comedian Billy Eichner tweeted that he planned to cancel his membership with Equinox because they are “enabling racism and mass murder” by supporting Donald Trump.
This fundraised did not go unnoticed by NFL Wideout, and current Miami Dolphins player Kenny Stills. Stills is an avid Trump critic, and called Ross out for his hosting of the event. Ross has a nonprofit organization called Ross Initiative for Sports Equality (RISE) and their mission statement says “We are a national non profit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice, and improve race relations.”
Stills questions how you can believe in an organization with that mission statement, yet support Donald Trump.
A source close to Stephen Ross told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that Ross supports Trump’s relection, but does not support his view on race relations.
“They agree on some things and disagree on others, specifically on the rhetoric around race,” the person told the Sun-Sentinel. “With regards to race, Stephen’s record on fighting racism speaks for itself. It is possible to support someone on the basis of some things and not agree with everything about them.”
On Wednesday, Ross made a public statement.
Both SoulCycle and Equinox, whose parent company is chaired, and funded by Ross, published tweets completely distancing themselves from Donald Trump and his reelection campaign.
SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan said that company does not endorse president Trump nor do they support his reelection campaign, and “SoulCycle has nothing to do with the event and does not support it.”
It’s uncertain at this time if this will spark another series of demonstrations of any sort from NFL players, but it wouldn’t be surprise. Kenny Stills was one of the NFL players to demonstrate back in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the anthem in protest of police brutality, and the divisive comments from then, presidential candidate Donald Trump.
In response to these protest the NFL adopted a policy that would allow for players to stay in the locker room during the national anthem, but it also stated that if a player did not stand for the national anthem they could be subject to substantial fines from team owners.
Shortly after the implementation, the rule faced major backlash from players, and fans. Not long after the rule went into action, it was suspended in agreeance with the NFLPA.
During the short time the rule was active, Ross and the Dolphins’ made sure to let people know, they would classify any sort of demonstration as “conduct detrimental to the club,” a designation that would enable the team to impose significant penalties.
Stills continues to be a social advocate for gun control, especially after the Parkland High School shooting just a short distance from the Dolphins stadium
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