Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills is among those who have criticized Jay-Z in the wake of his partnership with the NFL. Earlier this week, Stills questioned comments Jay-Z made during the partnership's introductory news conference, and said he wished the hip-hop mogul would have reached out to him, or Colin Kaepernick, beforehand. 

Just one day after Stills stated his opinion, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores decided to play a series of Jay-Z songs throughout practice in an effort to "challenge" the veteran wideout. On Thursday, following the team's 22-7 victory over the Jaguars, Flores explained his reason for doing so.

"It was a challenge to Kenny to perform regardless of whatever is going on outside," Flores said of playing the Jay-Z songs, per ESPN. "I would say, and I said this to him, he hasn't performed up to that level over the course of training camp, or as I've seen. So that was the challenge -- to get open, catch the football and make plays for this team, regardless of what's going on outside of this building."

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According to ESPN, Flores addressed the team after the media picked up the story, and told the players that he supports Stills and the protest.

Says Stills:

"We talked about it in-house and he handled it in-house.

For the most part, I think it was him seeing if I could handle if people were going to heckle me or play Jay-Z in another stadium if I could be mentally strong enough to handle that sort of treatment. I've been dealing with this since 2016 -- music, boos, racial slurs. So I don't think a little Jay-Z music is going to ruffle my feathers that bad."

The Dolphins will kickoff the 2019 regular season with back-to-back home games, starting with the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, September 8, followed by a matchup with the division rival New England Patriots in Week 2.

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