In March, Donald Trump publicly needled Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder at an event because Snyder did not endorse him. As others tried to laugh it off, Trump added "I never forget." And he seemed deadly serious.
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan believes this is the kind of vengeful thinking that is the real motivation behind Donald Trump’s continued, sustained attacks on the NFL. In 2014, NFL owners refused Trump’s bid to buy the Buffalo Bills and Khan believes Trump has never gotten over the snub. From First Coast News:
The league and its owners generally have had little public response to Trump, though New York Giants co-owner John Mara said, facetiously, “I’m shocked,” when asked for a response to the President's tweet. But Khan didn’t hold back.
“He’s been elected President, where maybe a great goal he had in life to own an NFL team is not very likely,” said Khan, who bought the Jags in 2011 for $760 million. “So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it’s very calculated.”
Khan went further, slamming Donald Trump’s conduct toward Gold Star families and the ban on Muslims entering the country:
“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.”
Khan, a self-made billionaire who immigrated from Pakistan, contends that Trump’s flap with the NFL pales when compared to social issues, notably including Trump's proposed travel bans that target people from Muslim-majority nations.
“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.”
Many have noted Khan joined other NFL owners in making a $1 million donation to Trump’s Inauguration fund. He’s just one more name in a list, going back decades, of people who’ve been swindled and screwed over by Donald Trump. Khan won’t be asking for or getting a refund, but maybe he’ll be motivated to get political and help defeat Trump in 2020.