- The Washington Times - Friday, September 14, 2018

A new NFL critic of President Trump has emerged: Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper.

The billionaire hedge fund manager waded into the league’s ongoing controversy on Friday by mocking the commander in chief as nothing more than a “red-headed guy in D.C.”

The comment came during an interview with CNBC’s Scott Wapner at Carnegie Mellon University.

“We’re talking about it? I wasn’t talking about it,” Mr. Tepper incredulously said of the player-led movement that began in 2016. “There’s a red-headed guy in D.C. that likes to talk about it, but I don’t want to mention his name right now.”

“Everybody knows who you’re talking about,” the host replied.

“I don’t know. Howdy Doody? Who is that?” Mr. Tepper said.

The protests have dominated news cycles in recent weeks in part because of a Nike campaign lionizing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The iconic shoe company’s commercials use Mr. Kaepernick’s visage in conjunction with the tagline: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Critics turned the ad into popular memes on social media, which feature real and fictional tyrants who believed in “something” while sacrificing the life and liberty of others.

“These [NFL protesters are] some of the most patriotic people and best people,” Mr. Tepper, who heads Appaloosa Management, added. “These are great young men. So to say that [they aren’t patriotic] makes me so aggravated and angry.”

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