Just a day after sexual assault allegations forced Carolina Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson to put the team up for sale, President Donald Trump is telling reporters that he’s “interested” in acquiring the team.
Trump’s interest is said to be spurred by reports that rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs is looking to buy the team and make Colin Kaepernick the starting quarterback. “Trump wants to buy the team just to stop this from happening,” one source close to the President told reporters on Monday.
According to sources close to the White House, Trump has instructed his personal lawyers and attorneys in the White House Council’s Office to begin determining whether he can legally purchase an NFL team while President. One attorney told reporters that the move would be unprecedented, but that there is nothing stopping him.
Trump had dabbled in football ownership before, trying and failing in the 1980s to spin his stake in the USFL’s New Jersey Generals into an NFL foothold, helping to submarine the smaller league in the process. The Buffalo bid, though, was an entirely straightforward attempt to join the NFL’s ownership ranks. After Bills founder Ralph Wilson died at age 95 in March 2014, his family put the team on the block, and Trump jumped into the bidding alongside the likes of Jon Bon Jovi and natural-gas billionaire Terry Pegula.
Throughout the season Trump has expressed his displeasure with the NFL regarding the National Anthem protests started by Kaepernick. Trump has repeatedly lambasted players, owners, and NFL leadership.
“Buying the Panthers would be a classic Trump move. It’s honestly not surprising that he’s interested,” one close advisor the President told reporters.
This is a developing story, and we will bring you more as we have it.