Jacksonville Jaguars owner Pakistani-born American billionaire Shahid Khan says United States (US) President Donald Trump is "jealous" of the National Football League and trying to soil its image in "personal" attacks in an interview with USA Today published on Thursday.
Alluding to Trump's failed bid to buy a stake in the Buffalo Bills, Khan said that Trump's attack on the league is a result of his inability to become a part of the NFL. "So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it's very calculated", Khan said.
And though he donated $1million to Trump's inaugural fund, he said he has a problem with how the president handles certain social issues, specifically slamming his travel ban when speaking to US today on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Trump wrote two separate posts on Twitter criticizing the NFL, one of which said there has been "too much talk, not enough action" on the protests from the league.
"The bedrock of this country are immigration and really a great separation between church and state".
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Goodell and a number of players, owners and Players Association representatives met earlier in the week to discuss the reasons behind the ongoing protests. But in recent weeks he has been outspoken against the president's rhetoric. Khan also called the president "a divider, not a uniter", and claimed that Trump's "attacks" on some minority groups, including Muslims and Jews, are far more "offensive" than any issue emanating from the NFL.
Khan's voice is slightly undermined by the fact that he gave $1m to Trump's inauguration fund, although he told USA Today he had no regrets about his donation and had been attracted by the president's economic policies.
The USA Today interview is not the first time Khan has attacked the president. "Here, it's about money, or messing with - trying to soil a league or a brand that he's jealous of".
According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, Khan is not the only owner who feels that way about Trump. At an executive conference for Crain's Who's Who in Chicago Business last week, the owner wryly noted that Trump deserved "credit" for helping pit "the First Amendment versus patriotism". "People are confused on it, [Trump] knew he could hit on it and take advantage". What (Trump) has done is shown leadership as the great divider, not uniter.