Donald Trump is a big fan of firing people. In the job he had before becoming president — game show host — his signature catch phrase was “You’re fired,” and his becoming the leader of the free world has not curbed his appetite for a good dramatic axing.
That all is his prerogative. If he wants to treat the White House like a reality show wherein somebody gets booted off the island every week, nobody can stop him.
But the NFL is none of his business, and if it was it would already be bankrupt.
Trump businesses have filed for bankruptcy six times since the early 1990s. He also tried, and failed, to buy an NFL team, instead buying the USFL’s New Jersey Generals. The Generals folded after two years because — just like the Trump Taj Majal, the Plaza Hotel, and his other casinos — they ran out of money.
So it is amusing to see Trump tell the NFL how to run its business even if, like me, you take the president only half seriously at all times. It is reminiscent of the time he signed Doug Flutie to the Generals and told the press that, for some reason, the rest of the owners were going to chip in to pay Flutie’s contract.
Similarly, I can say with a high degree of confidence NFL owners will not be taking Trump’s advice to cut players who engage in silent protest during the national anthem. I can’t speak from the perspective of an NFL owner, but I suspect this is because they rightly see Trump’s suggestion as shallow, poorly thought out, whiny, and in conflict with the goals of (a) winning and (b) making money (to say nothing of its considerable social and philosophical implications).
There is no reason for NFL owners to listen to Donald Trump, who wasn’t capable of running a pro football team in 1984, and doesn’t seem to have learned anything since.