Shad Khan, the lone majority owner of color in the NFL, became the majority shareholder of the startup “Black News Channel” in 2019 when he invested $50 million. Last week, he let the network die.
Black News Channel is no more after the news network filed for bankruptcy after Khan — the world’s tenth richest sports owner that’s worth $8.5 billion — failed to meet payroll as paychecks were delayed, leaving the network’s 230 employees out of a job. Last week, the Los Angeles Times even reported that “benefits will last through next week and there will be no severance, according to one person briefed on the plans.”
Khan didn’t want to invest any more of his money into Black News Channel, which is his right. But given his actions and the things and people he has invested in, his crushing decision to walk away isn’t surprising.
As the lone Brown man in the room when the NFL owners have their meetings, Khan went right along with his buddies in 2016 when he joined Woody Johnson (Jets), Daniel Snyder (Commanders), and Robert McNair (Texans) by donating $1 million to Trump, just for Khan — a Muslim — to watch “his president” institute a Muslim travel ban.
Just because you’re a billionaire, it doesn’t mean you make good decisions.
For instance, after giving all that money to Trump, Khan made news in 2017 when he “took a stand” against him by standing with his players, arm-in-arm, during the national anthem when the conversation around kneeling was at its peak. Apparently, Khan was fed up with the man he helped get elected.
Khan is also the man that hired the worst coach in NFL history — Urban Meyer. He stood by Meyer throughout his tumultuous tenure until he finally fired him before he completed his lone season in Jacksonville. To make the situation even more laughable, Khan fired Meyer “with cause” so that he wouldn’t have to pay him for the four years that were left on his five-year deal that was estimated to be worth between $10 to $12 million per year. Ironically enough, Meyer’s tenure with the Jaguars started under scrutiny when he hired former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle to serve as the Jaguars’ director of sports performance even though he got run out of the University of Iowa for doing a lot of really racist things for decades. Meyer said Doyle had been “vetted thoroughly.” Doyle was gone a few days later.
Here’s a link to what the Jaguars’ salary cap and payroll are expected to look like in 2022. It involves a lot of commas, as they have a revenue that hovers around the $360 million mark, as the team is valued at $2.8 billion. The Jaguars make Shad Khan a lot of money, and Black News Channel did not. And he has a right to do what he pleases with his billions. But when you — as a person of color — invest in a company that’s focused on adding some much-needed diversity to cable news only to let it die and not pay employees, you become another reason why we say “all skinfolk ain’t kinfolk.”