Shad Kahn suspects Donald Trump’s history with the NFL is driving his current war on the league.
The Jacksonville Jaguars believes the president is “jealous” of NFL owners and holds a grudge against them due to his failed attempts to buy NFL teams, according to USA TODAY’s Jarrett Bell. Trump repeatedly has attacked NFL owners for not forcing players to stand during the national anthem.
“This is a very personal issue with him,” Kahn said Wednesday in New York City following the NFL owners’ meetings. “He’s been elected president, where maybe a great goal he had in life to own an NFL team is not very likely. So, to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it’s very calculated.”
Many NFL players have sat or knelt during the playing of the national anthem this season to protest against police brutality, racial injustice and inequality, a movement that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began last year.
Critics, including Trump, have blasted the players’ actions as divisive, but Kahn insists the president’s rhetoric and policies are far more inflammatory than the NFL protests.
“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’s battles with the NFL date to the 1980s, when he owned the New Jersey Generals in the now-defunct United States Football League. But he also has made at least three attempts to buy an NFL franchise — the Dallas Cowboys in 1983, the New England Patriots in 1988 and Buffalo Bills in 2014.
As one of the NFL’s newest owners, Kahn offers fresh insight into Trump vs. the NFL and what’s really behind one of the sport’s biggest storylines.
Thumbnail photo via Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports Images