Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, the only nonwhite owner of an NFL franchise, said he faced difficulty in joining the elite club that is NFL owners because the other owners “don’t know they’re racist.”
Khan was attending the Crain’s Who’s Who in Chicago Business event, and his remarks were reported by Crain’s Chicago Business newspaper.
“You’ve got a bunch of 85-year-old guys who don’t think they’re racist, but they are racist,” he said of his first attempt to buy the St. Louis Rams in 2012 and his later successful purchase of the Jaguars.
The comments come as NFL owners, coaches and league executives struggle with continuing protests by players over racial disparities and police brutality as well as a lingering feud with President Trump.
In September, a day after Trump called on NFL players to stand during the playing of the national anthem, Khan linked arms with players before a game. “I had heard from a lot of the players what their feelings were, how offended they were (by Trump’s comments) and what they were going to do and my concern was that they don’t do anything to hurt themselves,” Crain’s Chicago Business quoted him as saying. “We wanted to do something as a team, because a team divided against itself cannot stand.”