So much for not responding to the sniping from the White House.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan, who recently dubbed President Trump “the great divider,” provided more specific and detailed criticism of the Commander-in-Chief on Wednesday, via Jarrett Bell of USA Today.
“Let’s get real,” Khan told Bell. “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.”
The jealousy comes from the fact that President Trump never was able to buy an NFL team.
“He’s been elected President, where maybe a great goal he had in life to own an NFL team is not very likely,” Khan said. “So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it’s very calculated.”
As to the latest controversy involving President Trump, on the question of whether he said to the widow of a fallen soldier that “he knew what he was signing up for,” Khan offered even more pointed language.
“It’s so bad,” Khan said. “It’s below the lowest of the lowest expectations. It doesn’t sound rational. It’s bizarre.”
And so Khan is showing no qualms about calling out the President, with the apparent goal of demonstrating that the President’s policies dramatically overshadow the claim that, currently, a handful of NFL players are disrespecting the flag by choosing to kneel or sit during the anthem. Khan specifically pointed to the President’s effort to restrict travel to the United States from multiple Muslim-majority countries.
“That’s one aspect that you can imagine — someone is getting a visa that will change their life is from a Muslim-majority country — and, now, boom, that dream to change lives, they get locked out,” Khan said. “That’s a hell of a lot more significant than fighting some sponsors or people who want their money back because they’ve been riled up.”
It’s unclear at this point whether Khan will be the only owner to direct such strong language at the President, or whether others will join in. Regardless, at least one owner is willing to stand up to man who insists that all NFL players be required to stand up for the anthem.
Based on Tuesday’s meetings and the absence of any change to the policy regarding player conduct during the anthem, it could be that the league has decided to weather whatever storms the President can conjure during whatever time he has left in office.