Popular vote loser Donald Trump escalated his culture war against the NFL by calling players who knelt during the national anthem “sons of bitches” and (illegally) urging NFL owners to fire those players for their protest.
The outrage, on both sides, was swift and heated, with the majority siding with the players’ constitutional right to peacefully protest, and Trump’s supporters obviously boasting of their patriotism over their love of the anthem and the flag.
But if you think Trump’s war on the NFL is really about patriotism, perhaps you should consider this report from the LA Times, back in 1986:
Scott Dworkin with the Democratic Coalition brought this to our attention:
National Football League was found guilty in 1986 for violating an antitrust law, but survived Trump’s United States Football League’s $1.69-billion suit when a jury of five women and one man awarded the USFL $1. Yes, one dollar.
Damages in antitrust cases are tripled, so USFL will actually given $3.
LA Times reported: The verdict, coming after about two years of pretrial litigation and 2 1/2 months of trial testimony, shook Courtroom 318 in Manhattan’s U.S. District Court. But it will shake the USFL far more, perhaps to the ground. Although the decision certainly discredits the NFL, it probably dooms the USFL which, in its fourth year, had planned to switch to fall play in direct competition with the NFL but without the established league’s television revenue sources.
What the jury decided, after 31 hours of deliberation over five days, was that not only does the NFL enjoy monopoly power, but it also unfairly conspired to gain its competitive edge and did in fact violate antitrust law–“to exclude competition within major league football.”
That constituted one of nine charges against the NFL. Among other things, the jury could not determine that the NFL, as the USFL had insisted, actually prevented the USFL from obtaining “access to a national broadcast television contract.”
And who, exactly, was behind the USFL and that billion dollar lawsuit?
You guessed it…Donald J. Trump.
We know Trump holds grudges, so it’s pretty likely that his current vendetta against the league stems from a 30-year grudge has has against the NFL for the ridiculous lawsuit he lost.