Jaguars owner Shad Khan thinks President Donald Trump is jealous of the NFL after his failure to purchase the Buffalo Bills in 2014, he toldUSA Today.
Khan said he thought Trump’s ongoing Twitter vendetta against the league — more specifically its players who have chosen to protest racism and inequality during the playing of the national anthem — is ‘a very personal issue.’ The president tweeted Wednesday that the NFL is showing “total disrespect” for the country by not forcing its players to stand for the anthem.
“He’s been elected President, where maybe a great goal he had in life to own an NFL team is not very likely,” Khan told USA Today. “So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it’s very calculated.”
Khan bought the Jaguars in 2011 and is the league’s only non-white majority owner. He donated $1 million toward Trump’s inauguration (he said he did not regret it). But in recent weeks he has been outspoken against the president’s rhetoric.
“Let’s get real," Khan said. “The attacks on Muslims, the attacks on minorities, the attacks on Jews. I think the NFL doesn’t even come close to that on the level of being offensive. Here, it’s about money, or messing with — trying to soil a league or a brand that he’s jealous of.”
Trump also once failed at an attempt to merge the United States Football League (he was the owner of the New Jersey Generals) and the NFL before the USFL folded in 1986. The smaller league forced an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL in ‘84, but did not receive serious dividends and did not survive.