March 24, 2023

NFL owner just defied Trump with a powerful gesture to refugees

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When President Trump decided to attacked the masses of NFL players who chose to kneel during the playing of the national anthem to bring national awareness to White Supremacist-inspired  violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, only a handful of owners supported their players.

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan was one of them.

“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,” Kahn said in a statement after the September 24th game in London.

“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.”

On Friday, Khan entered the political fray again in a way that can only be interpreted as a direct swipe at President Trump, albeit one with tremendous heart and meaning.  He’s giving free tickets for Jacksonville’s home playoff game Sunday to 500 Puerto Ricans living in Florida who have been displaced by the destruction of Hurricane Maria.  A further 500 tickets will be given to refugees from other parts of the world living in and around the northern Florida city.

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“The Jaguars’ first home playoff appearance in very long time is an event that should be shared with as many people as possible, across all spectrums, who call Jacksonville their home,” he said. “It’s important for the Jaguars to consistently be good citizens and do the right thing for our community.”

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“Hopefully the experience on Sunday will give our guests a well-deserved break from what can be severe challenges in their daily lives, and if we can give them a victory on the field, it will make for a perfect day,” Khan added.

The Trump Administration has been in a constant state of spin following their botched recovery effort in Puerto Rico.  Still today, three months after Maria made landfall, half of the island territory is still without power.  In the days after the storm moved through the island, it was clear that efforts on the ground were grossly insufficient.  Still, the president and his allies insisted the recovery was going swimmingly.

In addition to his neglect of the American Citizens of Puerto Rico, Trump has also taken action against non-citizens who have fled to the United States.  In his first year in office, he’s both limited the number of refugees who will be welcome here in the future, and shortened the stay of refugees already here, even if conditions in their countries of origin haven’t improved.

This generous gesture by Shad Khan, on the other hand – an immigrant and a Muslim himself, mind you – demonstrates what this country is really about, and it’s a shameful irony that his one move exhibits more true American spirit than the President of the United States has been able to muster over after an entire year in office.

Peter Mellado

Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.

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