Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) credited NFL wide receiver Kenny Stills, who kneels during the national anthem, for his community service with veterans. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) paid a compliment to one of the most notable players who is currently protesting the national anthem before NFL games, according to The Hill.
Rubio shared a tweet from Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills which showed the player doing community service for wounded veterans.
"No @NFL player does more community service than @KStills of the @MiamiDolphins," Rubio wrote. "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."
What was Stills doing?
Stills posted a photo montage of himself spending time with wounded veterans on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
"Spent #CommunityTuesday this week with some of our veterans — powerful to be with them on this day..." Stills wrote in the tweet.
Why did Rubio say that?
Rubio has always taken a more measured stance on the national anthem protests than President Donald Trump, even back when former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the focal point of the protests.
The senator told TMZ Sports in May that he believed Kaepernick deserved to be on an NFL roster, and that he respected his right to express himself in protest.
"Look, I support his right to stand for what he does. I don't agree with what he did but I support his right to do it," Rubio said.
Why does Stills kneel?
Stills, like many of the other protesting players, kneels during the anthem to bring awareness to social injustices such as police brutality against minorities. Kaepernick tweeted support for Stills this season for being one of the few players continuing to protest.
Stills maintains that his protest is not anti-veteran or anti-police like some believe.
“It shouldn’t be this complicated,” Stills told The New York Times. "Instead of people saying, 'yeah, let’s do this, let’s make change, let’s make our country a better place, it’s like, no, don’t do this then, this isn’t the right place, you don’t like the police.'”
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