The 2017 NFL season has been in the midst of a major controversy regarding hundreds of professional football players protesting during the national anthem. Although the protesting began with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 as a way to protest police brutality and racial inequality, the kneeling has become another anti-Trump movement.
After President Trump suggested that all players who kneel during the anthem should be fired with a controversial statement—in agreement with many other Americans, the number of participants to take a knee during the “Star Spangled Banner” drastically increased. Since then, the nation has been divided on whether this is an appropriate time to exercise their First Amendment rights, since it appears as a “disrespectful” gesture to our flag and our country.
Although the majority of NFL fans seem to be siding with Trump, the sports organization refuses to take action against protesting players. Additionally, several members of the NFL continue to bash the president, including Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan.
In a recent interview with USA Today, Khan attacked Trump, calling him “jealous” of the NFL and a “divider, not a uniter.” He began, "This is a very personal issue with him.”
“He’s been elected President, where maybe a great goal he had in life to own an NFL team is not very likely,” Khan continued. “So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it’s very calculated...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.”
According to USA, Khan was one of seven NFL owners who donated to Trump’s inauguration fund, $1 million to be exact. Although he reportedly doesn’t regret his decision, he still bashed Trump’s politics, specifically those that deal with immigration policies.
Khan stated, “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. 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.”
The Jaguars owner's brutal remarks come shortly after President Trump criticized the organization for not taking action against players who kneel during the anthem. In a recent press conference, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed there has been no change in policy, and additionally, outraged fans with his wishy-washy comments.
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