NEW ORLEANS – Kenny Stills was traded to the Texans from the Miami Dolphins just over a week ago.
The speedy wide receiver made an immediate impact against his original NFL team, the New Orleans Saints. Stills caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Deshaun Watson in the final minute of a 30-28 loss Monday night at the Superdome.
Stills streaked down the middle of the field for a 37-yard touchdown catch as Watson manufactured an epic last-minute comeback that was ultimately outdone by the Saints on a last-second, 58-yard field goal as time expired.
One of the most active players in the NFL when it comes to raising awareness about social injustice issues, Stills followed through on his previously stated plan to continue kneeling during the national anthem.
Kenny Stills kneels for national anthem @KSTiLLS
7:12 AM – Sep 10, 2019
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Stills said in August that he intended to kneel before the anthem as he has done for the past three years.
Stills was critical of Dolphins team owner Stephen Ross holding a fundraiser for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
Stills was also critical of hip-hop mogul and businessman Jay-Z for his partnership with the NFL on social justice issues.
Stills is known for his activism in the community, including participating in ride-alongs with police officers.
Stills is an ally of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He has protested racial injustice and economic inequality issues by kneeling during the national anthem for the past three years.
“Kenny exercised his right, his prerogative,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “I’m not going to really get into that. I talked to Kenny. Kenny is a good guy, very smart guy, very articulate guy, and he’s a really good football player. Glad to have him here. He made some plays.”
The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed jointly last year to indefinitely suspend a new policy governing anthem behavior. Under the terms of that policy initially, teams could be fined for players kneeling during the anthem with players having the option to stay in the locker room with everyone on the field asked to “stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.” That policy was shelved, though, prior to last season.