This is only my opinion, and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.
You might recall Donald Trump’s opinions of the NFL. They’ve gotten more heated over the last couple of months, saying that ratings had dropped and how the entire sport was “sad”. But there might be more to it than what we originally thought. Donald Trump used to own a team in the United States Football League. In 1983, the 37-year-old real estate developer spent less than $10 million to buy the New Jersey Generals, a messy team coming off its first season in the rollicking spring league. Ok, but what does this have to do with his seeming hatred for the NFL? Or does he just hate the sport in general? Not exactly. From the time Trump started running the Generals, he became fixated on one goal: Owning a team in the NFL.
During a meeting with fellow USFL owners in 1984, Donald Trump made the following statement:
“I don’t know about the rest of you people and I don’t know how much money you guys have, but I have the money to get into the NFL. And that’s where I plan on being.”
How’s that working out for him? Which means, his repeated failure to get into the NFL seems to have contributed to this animosity that he has towards the league. And it’s lasted for 30 years. This conclusion is based on the reporting of Jeff Pearlman, a sports journalist and the author of “Football for a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL”. This book was published on Tuesday – the same day as another Trump-tell-all was published.
Which means, everything that Trump says about the NFL is fueled by his hatred because of his own shortcomings. Trump has repeatedly targeted the NFL in one of his favorite political fights, over whether players should kneel during the national anthem while protesting social justice issues. He is expected to return to the issue repeatedly during football season as the midterm elections approach, as it plays to both the patriotism and reverence for the U.S. military that stoke excitement in his political base.
As the first Sunday of the NFL regular season kicked off last weekend, the president took another swipe at the NFL and cheered a drop in television ratings for its first Thursday night game. He tweeted: “If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!”
But we know that’s not true at all. But what is made even more clear is the fact that Trump doesn’t handle rejection well. I mean, that’s certainly not news, but it is a clear demonstration that this, in fact, the case. So how did this start in the first place? The NFL spurned Trump several times, first in 1981, when he tried to buy the Baltimore Colts. As Trump built a high-priced Generals roster that included Heisman Trophy winners Herschel Walker and Doug Flutie, his critics within the USFL saw an owner hoping the whole time his team would eventually join the NFL.
This just goes to show that Donald Trump doesn’t have the best interest of the country at heart. Instead, he’s trying to come to terms with previous rejection by making a big deal about the NFL right now.