Jaguars owner: Trump ‘jealous of’ NFL after failed bid to buy Bills

Jacksonville Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations and former head coach Tom Coughlin, left, chats with owner Shad Khan before the start of the State of the Franchise presentation for the NFL football team, Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CBS Sports) A week after Jaguars owner Shad Khan said Donal Trump has “shown leadership as the great divider,” he weighed in again on the president.

Trump, who before he ran for the highest office in the land or was a reality television star, owned the USFL’s New Jersey Generals and sued the NFL on the grounds that it was a monopoly. The court sided with Trump and awarded him $1 in damages. That’s not a typo — 100 pennies for his trouble.

“The NFL turned around and said it’s the $1 league and they brought out their media guns and just crushed us. It just broke the will of most of the owners,” former USFL Executive Director Steve Ehrhart told CNN last month. The league collapsed in 1986 after just three years.

Then, in 2014, Trump tried to buy the Bills but his bid came up short of the $1.4 billion bid placed by Terry Pegula, who eventually purchased the team. In news that surprises no one, Trump took to Twitter to mock Pegula shortly after the deal was finalized.

“This is a very personal issue with him,” Khan told USAToday.com’s Jarrett Bell on Wednesday.

“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.”

MORE: Goodell: NFL not changing its national anthem policy

Khan, who bought the Jaguars in 2011 for $760 million, contributed $1 million to Trump’s inauguration. But in the wake of Trump’s remarks that owners should fire players who “disrespect the flag,” Khan instead chose to stand arm-in-arm with his players before a Sept. 24 game against the Ravens and then issued a statement that read in part: “I met with our team captains prior to the game to express my support for them, all NFL players and the league following the divisive and contentious remarks made by President Trump.”

Trump has been heavily criticized this week for a callous phone conversation with the widow of a fallen American solider.

“It’s so bad,” said Khan of the reports. “It’s below the lowest of the lowest expectations. It doesn’t sound rational. It’s bizarre.”

Khan, who emigrated from Pakistan at the age of 16, concedes that he was initially shocked when he heard Trump’s rhetoric towards immigrants and Muslims.
…”Let’s get real,” the Jaguars owner 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.”

So does Khan regret giving Trump $1 million?

MORE: Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Lehigh to stop showing NFL games

“I have no regrets in life,” he said, adding that he was intrigued by some of Trump’s proposed economic policies. “This ugly, toxic side sours the whole experience.”
Khan wasn’t the only owner to speak out against the president on Wednesday. TheMMQB.com’s Peter King asked 49ers’ owner Jed York what the league should do the next time Trump goes on a tirade about the players’ anthem protest.

“We need to be above it,” he said. “We need to be above petty attacks from anybody, because racial and socioeconomic inequality have existed in this country for too long. You’ve got to block out the noise and do your job.”

Falcons owner Arthur Blank added: “You know what I have learned in 75 years? Control what you can control. Be responsible for what you say and do. In the NFL, our values have to respect the shield. We always have had a partnership with our players and now we have to stand with them on these important issues.”