Racist slurs failed to deter Pakistani-born billionaire from buying NFL team

Published: October 26, 2012
Khan bought control of the Jaguars late last year for a reported $760 million from Wayne Weaver. PHOTO: REUTERS

Khan bought control of the Jaguars late last year for a reported $760 million from Wayne Weaver. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK: Pakistan-born billionaire Shahid Khan has told US television newsmagazine “60 Minutes” that racist remarks when he bought the National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars last November made him more determined to succeed.

CBS said Thursday that the report, due to air on the show’s Sunday telecast, shows Khan where he says that remarks such as “sand monkey” and “terrorist from Pakistan” were not his problem but showed the troubles of those who coined them.

“(I reacted) the way I reacted most of my life, which is it’s not really my problem. It’s their problem,” he said. “It was not Jacksonville’s finest moment.”

Anti-Muslim insults did not spoil Khan’s joy at buying the Jaguars from former owner Wayne Weaver, who Khan said was embarassed by the racist remarks and concerned they might want Khan to forget the deal.

“I think he was surprised. And he wanted to just make sure that you know, it wasn’t giving me pause,” Khan said, noting he never had a second thought about completing the purchase because of the comments.

“As a matter of fact, if it was possible for me to be more determined, it… gave me more determination.”

Khan spent $760 million, according to Forbes magazine, for the Jaguars, which were founded as an expansion team in 1995. Khan had failed in a 2010 bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams, a central US NFL team much nearer his business.

Pakistan lacks opportunities on offer in US

Khan says Pakistan lacks the same opportunities he found in the United States.

“See how hard things are? Power’s going out, it’s 108 degrees. It’s tough,” Khan said while visiting his native Lahore with a CBS crew.

“I think the biggest impediment here is that hope, getting to the next stage — it doesn’t matter how hard you work, there are forces that kind of prevent you from being the best you can be,” he lamented.

A shining example of the American dream

Khan came to the United States in 1967 at age 16 to attend college and went from working in a small garage to making a fortune in auto parts, his unqiue one-piece bumper design becoming a hit in vehicle manufacturing circles.

Two-thirds of all cars and trucks sold in America now have at least one part manufactured by Khan’s firm, Flex-N-Gate, and he ranks among the 400 richest Americans as categoried by Forbes.

Khan, who was born in Pakistan in 1950, graduated with an engineering degree from the University of Illinois in 1971, a year after he started working at Flex-N-Gate, which he bought in 1980. It now earns $3 billion in annual sales.

“This gentleman is absolutely the American story,” Weaver said at the time of the sale. “He came to this country from Pakistan… he has factories worldwide and is one of the major producers of parts for all of the major automobile companies.

“I absolutely admire entrepreneurs and he absolutely sets the bar.”

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Reader Comments (30)

  • Fundyar
    Oct 26, 2012 - 3:21AM

    Good show


  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Oct 26, 2012 - 4:41AM

    Another loss for Pakistan, thanks to our corrupt and useless leaders, all bright people leave the country at first chance, the rest stay and learn to loot the nation.

    I keep praying for a sincere and honest leader, hope Imran Khan will be that man. Just wish he would change his stance on the Taliban and instead of talking with them, should launch a major strike.


  • Robert
    Oct 26, 2012 - 5:52AM

    Mr. Kahn is a very nice, intelligent, and polite man.

    We knew nothing about him when he bought the Jaguars, and many people were concerned.

    However, he quickly earned the trust of the people of Jacksonville.

    Now, if only he would replace his Jaguars General Manager, and hire someone who knows how to hire some really GOOD football players, then maybe we could WIN some games…!!!

    Jacksonville loves the Jags, but we Hate losing games…

    A two-edged sword…

    In any case, the people of Pakistan should be proud of Shad Kahn….


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Oct 26, 2012 - 6:14AM

    PML(N) is the only party which can build industrial base in Pakistan. Its leadership has experience and connections with investors, entrepreneurs, businessmen and industrialists. Recently when Mian Shebaz Sharif visited Germany, top German businessmen showed their interest and confidence in investing in Pakistan. On the other hand, Imran Khan has absolutely no experience in these matters. The one investment which he made in his entire life, resulted in his biggest embarrassment.


  • Karim
    Oct 26, 2012 - 10:38AM

    This news is so old, that he has buy an NFL team. I don’t understand why Pakistani news channels get updated after they got this news from foreign channels. There are other sources as well from which we can get good information.


  • Riaz Khan
    Oct 26, 2012 - 12:12PM

    We are Proud of you! We need more Pakistanis like you.


  • Ishrat salim
    Oct 26, 2012 - 12:26PM

    @Nadeem Ahmed:

    Let us not only blame our leaders. leaders are what we produce from amongst us.We all are to be blamed for the mess.Not one of us can claim that not one day passes when we do not think of doing anything through shortcut or use influence / source to get any work done.


  • Zaheer
    Oct 26, 2012 - 12:39PM

    Sir, the news is certainly old, but the point that foriegn news service (AFP) has raised here is that the racist comments made Khan stronger.

    The story’s point in the first paragraph is still strong. Be positive Mr Karim.


  • Umer
    Oct 26, 2012 - 1:04PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:

    PML(N) is the only party which can build industrial base in Pakistan.

    Start with protecting bakery workers. Will you?


  • zK
    Oct 26, 2012 - 3:44PM

    Check out the resemblance with the president …for a moment i was mistaken ! Lol


  • Lahori
    Oct 26, 2012 - 5:43PM

    Don’t abuse Shahid Khan.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Oct 26, 2012 - 5:59PM

    @ Umer, leaving aside what happened in bakery, the owner of bakery has no business sense. Mian family loves food and has made famous many eateries of Lahore throughout Pakistan and around the world. Their one visit to a restuarant or bakery and approval of quality/taste gives more publicity which is not possible with millions spent. The stupid workers at bakery should have gone out of the way to serve Mian family and business could have made fortune in long run..


  • Ishrat salim
    Oct 26, 2012 - 8:08PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:

    The poor bakery boy had told madam that cake is finished and that he is unable to say when next lot will be available and that he was just temporarily standing near the counter waiting for responsible people to come, but madam seem to have no patience..This is no way to treat a poor guy….as if Punjab especially belongs to Mian sahib family only.If Mian Saheb was so patriotic, why did he prefer to live in exile in KSA, rather should have faced jail like Zardari Saheb, at least Zardari Saheb seem more patriotic in this respect….


  • Umer
    Oct 26, 2012 - 8:34PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:

    , leaving aside what happened in bakery, the owner of bakery has no business sense.

    Right, I know you will blame the victim.

    How can we leave aside the beating? We want to support the industry don’t we?


  • Oct 27, 2012 - 1:39AM

    There are many such people from Pakistan who are a source of inspiration. Read about James Caan (Nazim Khan) of UK. He started from nothing and now a millinaire, recently appointed by UK Government to to head the commmittee responsible for distriuting start-up loans to young entrepreneurs. Also, read about Sahar Sheikh in UAE, helping the neglected construction workers of UAE…and there are others

    Unfortunately, we don’t get out of our basic problems to think differently. Media, partly to blame for this


  • Blithe
    Oct 27, 2012 - 3:14AM

    Buying a loss leader football team in the West as a trophy deal –
    that’s nothing to be proud of.

    What investments has he made in Pakistan??


  • saqib
    Oct 27, 2012 - 6:46PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:

    My dear ignorant friend, nooras did most their business on SROs and plots around motorway, Patriata etc. This fall under corruption and not business.


  • Aviator
    Oct 27, 2012 - 8:50PM

    Well Shahid Khan for your achievements, and especially having the guts to keep going in the face of racism.


  • Irfan Afridi
    Oct 28, 2012 - 5:52PM

    Khan is Graceful.


  • Atiq Ur Rehman
    Oct 29, 2012 - 12:11PM

    That is Good to know ,Masahallah .But just a question why would this not being shown or talked about on any of our Vibrant TV Channels or any other print media .Our TV channels have no sense of content selection and they show Breaking news of Sacrificial Animals falling down in sewers and how the Rescue services had to assist but they miss out on other Important News .

    Since we are talking about Media why would a Prime TV Channel advertising like crazy All Pakistan Premiere of an Indian Movie on 3rd Day of Eid ,can they just not find something more exciting about Pakistan to show or at least they can talk about how Rain and Flood effected people or Terrorism effected people are celebrating Eid .

    All the Best for Mr Khan .



  • obaid ullah
    Oct 29, 2012 - 2:16PM

    If this man has so much influnce than why doesnt he come and do something for the nation?


  • sam
    Oct 29, 2012 - 7:29PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    I bet you are a paid person.


  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)
    Oct 29, 2012 - 8:13PM

    Bully for you Mr.Khan, Well done.


  • Haider Hussain
    Oct 30, 2012 - 12:04PM

    I strongly hope that Mr. Khan writes his autobiography!!!!


  • Xainu
    Oct 30, 2012 - 11:23PM

    @ Blithe,

    Do you sincerely think that this country offers any rewards for investments.


  • just_someone
    Nov 3, 2012 - 9:10AM

    Shahid Khan deserves better than how the people of Jacksonville have treated him. When he bought the team, all the Jags forums had racist comments all around.
    honestly people in the pan handle and jacksonville dont deserve to have an NFL team. I really really hope shahid takes the team to LA. LA will love him for bringing back football to them and they will never be as racist as the uneducated people in the deep south.
    LA Jaguars!


  • Sajida
    Nov 3, 2012 - 9:31AM

    It is the races who will lead in America. 2011 was the years white babies were a minority for first time in history. A new era has arrived. Racism is just a defense mechanism of the unable to deal with the changing times!


  • Muhammad
    Nov 3, 2012 - 12:52PM

    Wow, this is not a loss of Pakistani, rather its a great hope for Pakistanis all over the world as well as for Pakistanis living in their homeland…. Some leading Pakistani univeristies should arrange lectures from him or at least add up his case studies for MBA/entrepreneurship degree programs….


  • Robert
    Nov 10, 2012 - 9:39PM



    You obviously know nothing about Shad Kahn, or Jacksonville…

    While there was a SMALL amount of initial concern about Mr. Kahn when he first bought the Jaguars, that quickly passed, and he is now ADORED by the people of Jacksonville.

    People LINE UP to get his autograph, and have their picture taken with him.

    Any television program that features him has high viewer ratings…

    Mr. Kahn’s trademark MUSTACHE is now the current fad in town, and shows up in local advertising for many other businesses..

    In short, Shad Kahn has been adopted by the the people of Jacksonville as “one of our own.”…


    As for Los Angeles, that city doesn’t deserve an NFL team. Twice the city of Los Angeles has had an NFL team, and each time, the people of Los Angeles treated those teams like DIRT, and both teams left and moved to BETTER CITIES….

    In conclusion, Shad Kahn was smart to come to Jacksonville, and only a fool would go to Los Angeles…


  • Syed Ali Zawaar Shah
    Nov 13, 2012 - 1:26PM

    BRAVO!!! Stop disgracing & start following…Recommend

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