Here’s some sports history on Donald Trump:
In 1984, he bought the New Jersey Generals of the USFL and he turned them into something of a big deal by signing superstars like Hershel Walker and Doug Flutie. Then he pushed for the league to move from a spring schedule to the fall so it could take on the NFL directly, and when he convinced his fellow owners to do so, it was the death knell of the league. By 1986, the USFL was toast.
Fast forward to 2014….
Trump wanted to buy the Buffalo Bills, but his bid came up short to the one by Terry and Kim Pegula.
In other words, Trump doesn’t have a great history with the NFL, and some NFL owners believe that’s what’s driving him as he rants about the protests permeating the league. He’s gone so far as to say players who do not stand for the national anthem should be fired and to call for a boycott of the league.
Shad Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, thinks he knows why Trump has such a stick up his ass about the NFL: Jealousy.
“This is a very personal issue with him,” Khan told USA Today on Wednesday after NFL owners meetings in New York, where the protests were a major agenda item.
“He’s been elected President, where maybe a great goal he had in life to own an NFL team is not very likely,” he added. “So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it’s very calculated.”
Others in the NFL, though, are remaining tight-lipped on Trump. The President is an easy target these days, and any attack on him will be supported. Show support for him, though, and promptly get shot down.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said during his press conference Wednesday the league wants to “stay out of politics” (Khan apparently didn’t get the message), and Patriots owner Robert Kraft – who has close ties with Trump which we’ve written about here – didn’t want to talk about the President this week.
USA Today notes that Kraft and , ironically, Khan are among the NFL owners who donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund. The Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, Rams’ Stan Kroenke, Texans’ Robert McNair, Redskins’ Dan Snyder and Jets’ Woody Johnson are the others.
Khan , though, exemplifies what the protest movement has morphed into it. It’s really become less about police brutality toward black people and more about uniting against Trump’s attack on the league.