Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan stood arm-in-arm with his team today during the national anthem before kickoff of their game against the Baltimore Ravens in London.
The gesture comes in the wake of Trump’s comments and tweets on protests during the anthem, in which he called on NFL owners to fire players who decide to kneel during the anthem. On Friday while speaking at a rally in Alabama, Trump asked the crowd “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now, out, he’s fired!'”
Since Trump’s comments on Friday teams, players, and commissioner Roger Goodell have all responded with statements defending players’ right to kneel. Goodell said the president’s comments showed an “unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.”
Khan took these statements a step further and stood with his players on the field.
After the anthem played, Khan said it was an honour to stand with his team. You can read his full comments below, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
It was a privilege to stand on the sidelines with the Jacksonville Jaguars today for the playing of the U.S. national anthem at Wembley Stadium. 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, and was honored to be arm in arm with them, their teammates and our coaches during our anthem.
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. 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, a Pakistani-American, is the first person of colour to own an NFL franchise. He also donated $US1 million to Trump ahead of his inauguration.
New England Patriots ower Robert Kraft, another significant Trump donor, also spoke out against the president’s comments, saying that he was “deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the president on Friday.”
Trump: Hey NFL owners, fire players if they protest!
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