The owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars is once again attacking President Donald Trump, this time saying Trump is only criticizing the NFL because he is “jealous” of the league.
The president continues to criticize the league for allowing protests against the country to be staged during the playing of the national anthem and for the league’s refusal to put an end to the protests. But while most team owners have remained fairly quiet about the controversy, Jaguars owner Shad Khan has elected to strike out repeatedly at Trump.
Once again, the Jaguars owner tore into the president in an interview with USA Today’s Jarrett Bell on Wednesday saying that Trump’s criticism of the NFL is a “very personal issue with him.”
It may be personal because Khan was one of those NFL owners who personally took the field in support of his team’s protest against the country. Khan stood arm-in-arm with his players during the anthem, and he did so overseas as the Jaguars prepared to play at Britain’s Wembley Stadium.
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.
“He’s been elected president, where maybe a great goal he had in life to own an NFL team is not very likely,” Khan told the paper. “So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it’s very calculated.”
Khan is known to have donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund, but while he says he doesn’t regret the donation, he insisted that “the ugly, toxic side sours the whole experience.”
Accepting the negative reporting about the president’s recent private conversation with a Gold Star wife, Kahn went on to call Trump’s behavior “bizarre” and “the lowest of the lowest expectations.”
“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.”
The USA Today interview is not the first time Khan has attacked the president.
In September, Khan criticized Trump for making it harder for the NFL to invest itself in “diversity.”
“Our team and the National Football League reflects our nation, with diversity coming in many forms – race, faith, our views and our goals. We have a lot of work to do, and we can do it, but the comments by the President make it harder,” Kahn said during his trip to London. “That’s why it was important for us, and personally for me, to show the world that even if we may differ at times, we can and should be united in the effort to become better as people and a nation.”
Khan also accused the president of “confusing” people about what the First Amendment means.
“You have to give Trump credit, people are confused on the First Amendment versus patriotism, that if you exercise your First Amendment, you’re not a patriot, which is crazy,” Khan said last month. “People are confused on it, [Trump] knew he could hit on it and take advantage. I think what we’re seeing is the great divider overcoming the great uniter.”
In that same September interview, Khan insisted that Trump’s criticism is a naked and calculated campaign.
“A lot of the stuff like football [that] Trump does is highly calculated — he looks for issues that you can touch, and it will blow people up. … What [Trump] has done is shown leadership as the great divider, not uniter. We are used to being warm and fuzzy and cuddled. Well, it’s a different time.” Khan exclaimed.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.