As we all know, the Patriots won Super Bowl 53 recently, defeating their opponents, the L.A. Rams, 13-3. Now, many an NFL fan knows that the Rams used to reside in St. Louis up until 2016, when the NFL voted 30-2 to allow the team to relocate from the city to L.A.
What many people do NOT know is that Stan Kroenke essentially served as a bad faith negotiator with the city of St. Louis so he could remove the team from St. Louis to make more money in L.A. He took advantage of a poorly-crafted clause in the team's contract to demand 700 million dollars from a city that did not have enough.
When this fell through, he left, taking the team with him, not caring a single bit about the city of St. Louis or the many Rams fans who remained in the city and county. I am not even a Rams fan, nor was I ever, but this struck me as remarkably insensitive to the city he tried so hard to move the team to in the first place.
He also felt the need to backhandedly insult St. Louis by questioning whether or not St. Louis could sustain more than two sports teams (while ignoring that St. Louis had a football team WELL into the 1980s!). He made it very clear as well that all that mattered to him was the financial incentive, rather than the city he supposedly cared about.
How was this further demonstrated?
He was willing to invest nearly half of the total stadium costs in Los Angeles, while he demanded 700 million from the city of St. Louis to elevate their stadium to some subjective "top-tier" of the league. He has also demonstrated this in personnel decisions the Rams could not be bothered making here, such as firing Jeff Fisher.
This, while indicating that he only desired money, pales in comparison to what he has done to Arsenal F.C. Since he has taken over the club, there has been a massive outcry. Many fans feared that the club would enter a situation similar to Manchester United, where the club, not the owner had to pay for the debts accrued so they could buy the club.
There is also the issue of him not investing a penny into the team.
Arsenal F.C. used to be known as one of the most attractive clubs in Europe: some of the best of the world's footballing talents would make their name or elevate themselves to glory by traveling to North London.
Now? The club is out of the UEFA Champions' League, and the owner continues to allow for the club to stagnate as other clubs invest billions. It is an insult to a football club with the pedigree of Arsenal to be allowed to decay because he wants to invest more money into his L.A. vanity project.
Now, do I believe Los Angeles deserves an NFL team? Yes.
Did it have to be via relocation? No. Relocations are notoriously bad and ruin both cities and fans. Ask San Diego how they feel about the Chargers leaving. Ask Seattle about the Supersonics. In another time, you could ask Houston how they felt about the Oilers leaving.
Stan Kroenke does not deserve any of the credit for Arsenal's cup successes and does not deserve to be praised for the Rams' success. He betrayed his home-state in the pursuit of money.
That enough is a reason to condemn him.
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