Expected Panthers buyer criticized Trump on TV many times. Here’s how it went down
We know that David Tepper, who's expected to sign a deal Tuesday to buy the Carolina Panthers, is a hedge-fund billionaire, that he worked his way through college in his native Pittsburgh and that he is both media-savvy and generous with his money.
What you might not know is that Tepper has also been highly critical of President Donald Trump since before Trump's 2016 election. Here's a sampling of what's he had to say.
When Trump's wife, Melania, described him as a generous person just before the 2016 election, Tepper went on CNBC's "Squawk Box" to claim the then-candidate hadn't given to relief efforts after disasters that struck New York.
"During Sandy, the big Sandy benefit, the big 9/11 benefit, not one dime. Not one dime! You can't tell me this is a charitable, generous person," Tepper said as his voice neared a scream, CNBC reported. "Trump masquerades as an angel of light, but he is the father of lies."
Tepper told CNBC he planned to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton for president but support Republican congressional candidates.
Trump has his own 30-year history of antagonism aimed at the NFL itself, former Observer reporter Jonathan Jones wrote for Sports Illustrated.
That saga dates to Trump's part in an anti-trust lawsuit filed against the league by the rival United States Football Leagues in 1986, SI reported, then continued to Trump's unsuccessful bid to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014 and most recently included the president calling NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem "sons of bitches."
Tepper, a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, apparently hasn't warmed to Trump since the election.
“The economy’s really good right now, despite different things,” Tepper told a first-year business school student at Carnegie Mellon University, SI reported. "Whether I like the person or not, I’m not going to get into that — although I did call him a demented, narcissistic scumbag. And if you look up 'demented, narcissistic scumbag,' you’ll see my name calling Trump that. Just Google those three words.”
Jeff Eisenband, senior of ThePostGame, tweeted Tuesday that Tepper's political views may color his entry into the NFL.
"David Tepper's political candidness is going to start his ownership of the Panthers with a series of allies and a series of rivals. But unlike in politics, he can't get voted out for those views," Eisenband wrote. "He's buying the team fair and square in a free market economy."
In early 2017, two months after Trump took office, Tepper appeared to soften enough to say the economy would benefit from a lack of new regulations coming from the Republican-controlled federal government.
“The day we had three Republican houses, the president and two houses, that was the day there wasn’t going to be another regulation put on the economy, and that alone releases animal spirits,” he said in a CNBC interview, Forbes reported. “If nothing else happens, that releases animal spirits.”