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Stephen Ross controversy “not helpful” amid CBA talks

Tennessee Titans v Miami Dolphins

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 09: Stephen M. Ross"nChairman of the Board / Managing General Partner of the Miami Dolphins on the sidelines during the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Tennessee Titans at Hard Rock Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

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Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills has spoken out regarding a perceived conflict between the establishment by owner Stephen Ross of a nonprofit organization that promotes racial equality and social justice in sports and his support of President Trump through a six-figure fundraiser. Ross has defended himself, first with anonymous quotes from a source close to Ross (who ended up giving the same quote to four different outlets) and then with a written statement.

But it’s not going away. The controversy has engulfed two of the companies owned by the conglomerate owned by Ross, Soulcycle and Equinox. And the situation is gaining steam in NFL circles.

As one source with knowledge of the ongoing dynamics between labor and management explained it on Wednesday night, the Ross fundraiser for President Trump is “not helpful in a CBA environment.”

The league and the NFL Players Association have been trying to negotiate without acrimony or hard feelings. This new circumstance with Ross dredges up frustrations from the 2017 season, when ownership and players were sharply at odds over the anthem controversy.

Ross, by all appearances, is not inclined to abandon the fundraiser or to stop supporting the President. Which means that the issue won’t be going away any time soon.