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  1. #1
    Varg6's Avatar
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    Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    Per stltoday.com

    By Bernie...

    Now that Shahid Khan has signed off on a deal to purchase majority ownership of the Rams, it will be fascinating to watch how the NFL receives him.

    If approved by NFL owners, Khan would become the first minority owner in control of a franchise in league history.

    Khan, born in Pakistan, came to the U.S. in 1967 at age 16. He became a U.S. citizen, was educated at the University of Illinois, built a hugely successful auto-parts manufacturing company, raised a family and has lived in central Illinois for 40 years.

    But we're reminded that the NFL is a private club, with only 32 lead owners/members. That point was underlined in a story that appeared in Saturday's Post-Dispatch.


    This passage caught my attention: "As one observer familiar with the process emphasized, it's more than just a matter of money. Using the analogy of an exclusive tennis club, the observer said, 'Do you like him enough to invite him to join your club? And if so, can he afford to pay the dues?'''

    I think it's ridiculous that we're even having this discussion. But Khan's application certainly will be a matter of keen interest for those who want to see if the NFL is truly inclusive at the highest level.

    I believe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is a man of integrity. I would be absolutely shocked if Khan is treated less than fairly by the NFL or the owners. And if Khan's finances check out, he should be fine. (More on that later.) I would think the NFL would be proud to open the doors to its inner sanctum to Khan an ambitious, self-made man who represents the American dream.

    After all, Goodell spoke out against popular radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh when Limbaugh briefly partnered with Dave Checketts in a bid to buy the Rams.

    Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay also denounced Limbaugh; Irsay happens to be a member of the NFL Finance Committee, which will review Khan.

    After taking Limbaugh to task for making "divisive" comments, Goodell was challenged by a member of Congress during an appearance on Capitol Hill.

    Goodell responded, in part, with this: "The NFL is about bringing people together, it's about unity and that we do not we do not move toward divisive actions. And, in fact, our teams, I think, have demonstrated that both on and off the field. Nothing brings a team and a community together better than the NFL."

    The NFL received a "B" its best grade ever in the 2009 Race and Gender Report Card issued by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES). The NFL had five minority general managers and six minority head coaches in 2009. But in its report, TIDES also pointed out that "no person of color has ever held majority ownership of an NFL team." And according to TIDES, no minority person ever has served as the president or chief executive officer of an NFL team.

    Will Khan be deemed acceptable? We would think so. In his news conference during Super Bowl week, Goodell addressed a question about the Rams' future in St. Louis.

    "We want to be in St. Louis," Goodell said.

    And so does Khan. So he should be a plus for league stability.

    But Khan shouldn't expect a free pass.

    He'll be subjected to the same financial scrutiny as any ownership applicant. And the NFL doesn't fool around. The NFL wants to see the money to make sure a new owner has sufficient wealth to run a franchise. If anything is out of line, the NFL will play hardball.

    I was covering the Dallas Cowboys for the Dallas Morning News when Jerry Jones bought the franchise, and he went through a difficult process to gain approval. On multiple occasions Jones was ordered to make changes in his deal, and his entrance to the NFL club was delayed.

    If Khan has any legitimate financial weakness, the league will find it. So if he lacks sufficient wealth, I wouldn't expect the NFL to wave him in.

    Khan also is embroiled in a tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS disallowed some tax shelters utilized by Khan and asked him to pay more taxes. Khan gave the IRS an additional $68 million but is appealing the decision. And he is suing the financial advisers who set up the tax shelters.

    This wasn't, and isn't, a criminal matter. It's just a beef over a rather large tax bill.

    Khan is haggling with the IRS does it get any more "American" than that? And are we to believe that no NFL owner, at any time, has sparred with the IRS? Please. Heck, even the league has scrapped with the IRS.

    The NFL is a tax-exempt organization. (Yes, really.) A few years ago the IRS proposed new rules to require the NFL and many other tax-exempt entities to disclose more information, including salaries of "key employees."

    The NFL resisted and asked Congress for an exception. Ultimately, the NFL did comply with the IRS request.

    And the NFL isn't exactly opposed to tax shelters, either.

    To raise money for stadium projects, NFL teams have generated millions of dollars by selling personal seat licenses to fans. NFL teams use the money to contribute to the cost of building a new stadium. But the teams do not pay taxes on the PSL sales. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the deals are structured so the PSL money is collected through tax-exempt government agencies.

    Peter Flaherty is the president of the National Legal and Policy Center, which wants the IRS to revoke certain tax exemptions. Including this one.

    "Is this a legitimate tax-exempt purpose? I don't think so," Flaherty told the Times-Picayune. "Joe Six-Pack doesn't think so."

    If Khan likes tax shelters, then he should fit right in with the NFL.

    On his nationally syndicated radio program, Limbaugh mentioned Khan's purchase of the Rams.

    "Congratulations to him," Limbaugh said. "He says he's a big Rams fan. He goes to the Edward Jones Dome constantly and appears to want to be a pretty hands-on owner, from what we've been able to figure out."

    Judging by those words, Rush Limbaugh seemingly approves of Shad Khan as the Rams owner.

    Will the NFL?

    This will be very interesting, indeed.

    -----

    It is interesting. I think it's amazing that he'll (hopefully) be the first minority NFL owner. It's about damn time if you ask me. I've said it a million times but who cares? It's pigmentation What does that have to do with anything?

    I take that back, it'll be a great day when we aren't using the word "minority" to identify anyone...However, this is a step in the right direction not only for the Rams but for sports and the progress of America as a society--the sooner racism is gone, the better.



    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  2. #2
    Bralidore(RAMMODE)'s Avatar
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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    the best way to get rid of racism and the like is to shut and stop talking about it...

    Stop patting the guy on the back because he's likely to become a minority owner, its probably more insulting than anything. The day when stuff like this doesn't make news is the day we'll truly have evolved beyond this...

  3. #3
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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    I understand your sentiment...

    But it is news because he is the first "minority" to ever own an NFL team. I personally couldn't care less that what he looks like, as long as he helps our Rams in any way possible to become an elite team again.

    However, America is a place that still has never had a female leader and we finally just got one whose pigmentation doesn't reflect the sun. My point is, for America, it is a big deal. I'm not trying to argue or anything but to me this is quite relevant and important for our society.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    The Rams had the first black players, pretty fitting if they were to also have the first "minority" owner.

    Although i have to say i hate the word "minority" when used in this context

  5. #5
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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    Khan would not be the first minority owner. There have been several Jewish owners, including the late Carol Rosenbloom. Last time I checked, Jews are a minority in this country.

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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    AL DAVIS...

    I don't know what the hell he is but there is only one of him in the world.

    Can't get any more minority than that.

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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    I could care less about the specifics of his heritage. He pulled himself up from thre boot straps and made something of himself. Good for him. Now, the Rams seem to FINALLY be on the precipice of having an real owner since 1978!!! This is great news and we now are getting ourselves set up to turn this organization back to what it once was, long ago.

    Welcome Mr Khan, Now, after you are annoited, get your check book open and start becoming a force within that NFL club you have just entered and get us back to respectability. Soon. PLEASE!!

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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    The guy is a billionaire engineer who has been in the US since he was a teenager, it's not like he just came from a small farming village in pakistan. I'm sure he'll fit right in

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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    Quote Originally Posted by Varg6 View Post
    I understand your sentiment...

    But it is news because he is the first "minority" to ever own an NFL team. I personally couldn't care less that what he looks like, as long as he helps our Rams in any way possible to become an elite team again.

    However, America is a place that still has never had a female leader and we finally just got one whose pigmentation doesn't reflect the sun. My point is, for America, it is a big deal. I'm not trying to argue or anything but to me this is quite relevant and important for our society.
    America always makes it a big deal when involving a "minority"..

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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    Wow, the NFL is a tax exempt entity. That's crazy. They are all about money and they have no business being tax exempt.

    I don't think Khan being a minority should much make difference, if he fits the other requirements that the owners have in mind.

    I wish I knew more about him. Exactly how long has he been a Rams fan and how many games has he been to? Why does he want to own a football team?

    I am still not keen on the IRS millions, but I don't hang with people that have the kind of wealth that the NFL owners do. Maybe this is normal to them. Finding tax shelters and arguing with the IRS about high dollar issues.
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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    Here's what things would concern me when considering a potential owner for the Rams:

    1. Can you truly afford the team?

    2. Will you keep the team where it belongs in St. Louis?

    3. Are you committed to doing whatever it takes to build the Rams into a team that not only St. Louis can be proud of, but a team that can be called a legacy?

    4. Do you bleed blue & gold and plan on attending every home game and a good number of road games?

    If the answers to all of these questions are yes, then I'd probably be happy with the new owner.


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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    ^^ It sounds like he fit those criteria....

    I think it really is quite amazing that we could have a true rams fan owning this team. he's been going to rams homes games before georgia even got sick. He's been tortured by this 6-42 record like we have... I can't imagine there's a fan who would want it turned around more then he does

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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    Quote Originally Posted by helorm341 View Post
    ^^ It sounds like he fit those criteria....

    I think it really is quite amazing that we could have a true rams fan owning this team. he's been going to rams homes games before georgia even got sick. He's been tortured by this 6-42 record like we have... I can't imagine there's a fan who would want it turned around more then he does
    so how long has he been a fan? 3 years, 4 years? Why would anyone pick the rams to follow during this slump? What does he really know about football?
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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    Bernie said that he has been going to games since 95 but it didn't sound like he was a serious fan right away. I don't think anyone really knows exactly when the switch got flipped. I imagine he'll give a more in depth story at the appropriate time...

    But anyone who continued to go to games the past few years is a real rams fan. This team is the anti-bangwagon team. I think it's safe to say that anyone following the Rams right now is a diehard.

    I imagine he knows just as much as you or I would about football, it'd be very hard to go to games/pay attention to the team for 16 years without learning it. Although, honestly I do not know

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    Re: Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid

    Just because someone wasnt born in the USA, doesnt mean they dont know football.

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