If Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill can’t play after reinjuring his left knee during practice this week, team owner Stephen Ross likely won't hesitate to sign Colin Kaepernick. Unlike Baltimore Ravens majority owner Steve Bisciotti and other NFL team rulers, Ross won't let the former San Francisco 49ers signal caller’s recent controversies stop the Dolphins from getting a championship-caliber replacement to step in for Tannehill.
Besides, Ross has shown empathy for African-Americans' daily struggles.
Last season, Kaepernick infuriated a small racist segment of NFL fans and sports pundits by taking a knee during the singing of the National Anthem to protest police brutality against blacks. In response, a group of Dolphins joined him in solidarity. Following the Dolphins' first game, Ross told reporters he supported the players and didn’t view their actions as disrespectful.
“I think everybody here, our team and our whole organization, respects the flag and what it stands for and the soldiers and everything,” Ross said then. “But these guys are making a conversation about something... that’s very important in this country, and I’m 100 percent supportive of them.”
Turns out Ross played an even bigger role. In April, the Palm Beach Post reported that the Dolphins owner told the players before the game that he was fine with them taking a knee. Dolphins defensive back Michael Thomas claimed Ross told them: “I’ve got y’all’s back 100 percent.”
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Ross also played a key role in putting together a town-hall meeting among the protesting players, police officials, military veterans, and community activists following the game. He did not bow to pressure from police unions demanding local departments pull out from providing security at Dolphins' home games.
Outside Hard Rock Stadium, Ross has made the Dolphins’ presence known in South Florida’s inner-city communities by supporting and interacting with dozens of youth football clubs and high-school football teams. He has also built a great working relationship with Miami Gardens, home to Hard Rock Stadium and a city with one of the region's largest populations of African-Americans.
Though Ross risks alienating Cuban-American Dolphins fans because Kaepernick once wore a Fidel Castro T-shirt at a news conference, if head coach Adam Gase believes the San Francisco QB gives the Dolphins insurance for Tannehill, Ross will pull the trigger and sign the outspoken black quarterback.
Follow Luther Campbell on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.