Jaguars owner Shad Khan: Donald Trump has 'shown leadership as the great divider'

Like several NFL owners, Shad Khan contributed $1 million to Donald Trump's inauguration. But in the wake of Trump's remarks that owners should fire players who "disrespect the flag," Khan instead stood arm-in-arm with his players before a Sept. 24 game against the Ravens and issued a statement that read in part: "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."

Trump has continued his crusade against the NFL and its players, some of whom are kneeling to protest social inequality. On Thursday, Khan, the Jaguars owner since 2012, made a point of publicly criticizing the president.

"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 Thursday at an executive conference presented by Crain's Who's Who in Chicago Business. "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."

Despite the $1 million donation, Khan, who emigrated from Pakistan at the age of 16, concedes that he was shocked when he heard Trump's rhetoric towards immigrants and Muslims and now thinks "politics and the Western World will never be the same again" because of Trump.

"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 said.

Khan's comments come four days after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who also donated $1 million to Trump's inauguration, declared that "any player who disrespects the flag or does not stand for the anthem will not play in the game," and a day after Jones met with his players to discuss the new rule, and reportedly explained that his stance on the anthem was because he wants to play the bad guy and deflect attention from the rest of the team.

Meanwhile, Patriots owner Bob Kraft (yep, he donated $1 million too), recently said that while he respects the flag, he also respects his players' rights to peacefully protest.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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