The many statements speaking out against racial injustice coming from sports teams, and team owners, are important.
Actions are important as well.
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan posted an essay on his team’s official site in which he spoke of his life story and the effects of racism. Khan is one of two minority owners in the NFL, along with Kim Pegula of the Buffalo Bills.
“The video capturing the final moments of George Floyd's life offer the latest horrific evidence of injustice that is all too prevalent in the U.S,” Khan wrote. “No families in this country should have to go to bed at night worrying about whether their children are going to encounter the wrong police officer in the wrong moment. No families should have to worry about their child losing their life just because of the color of their skin. Yet, they do.”
His voice is important. But he also has conflicting views when it comes to politics.
Khan among NFL owners to donate to Trump
In 2016, Khan was among a handful of NFL owners to give at least $1 million to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee. Trump’s policies, words and actions have been criticized for being harmful to minorities.
“Even recently, I have had people spew racist language in my presence when talking about other people of color — apparently ignorant of my ethnicity,” Khan wrote Wednesday. “Change for all people of color in the United States is long overdue, and it must happen now.”
Last year Khan said he still supported Trump on his economic policies, but not his views on social issues.
“I had been a big fan of the economic policies,” Khan said on stage at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit last September. “That happened, and I think we are benefiting from it.”
Khan added, “I think it’s very clear on social issues—immigration, religion, what have you—I think we need to have a different viewpoint.”
In 2017, Khan was critical of Trump, saying the president was “the great divider.” Two years later, he was still a “big fan” of his economic policies.
There hasn’t been a definitive recent word on which candidate Khan supports for the 2020 presidential election, or if he plans to donate any of his fortune to either side. There has been no quote which makes it clear if Khan feels the social issues he seems so passionate about are actually a bigger priority than growing his net worth.
Khan wants to ‘level the playing field’
Many NFL owners and teams have been silent the past week, while others who have made a statement denouncing racial injustice were among the group to donate to Trump, like Khan.
Khan’s message was a little more than 800 words long, and didn’t seem disingenuous. He said he will listen to his players, as he has done in the past, and do what he can in the Jacksonville community to help.
“My overarching goal, or mission, is to do my part to level the playing field so everyone has the same access and opportunity to achieve the American Dream, without fear or compromise,” Khan said.
Those words are great. Actions will be important too. Soon Khan will have to choose between the economic policies he happily supports, and the social equality he wrote eloquently about.
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