Music

Diddy wants to be first black NFL team owner

With racial tensions casting a pall over American football, US rap mogul Diddy wants to buy the Carolina Panthers and become the first African American owner of a National Football League (NFL) team.

Estimated by Forbes magazine to be worth US$820 million (S$1.1 billion), Diddy voiced his interest as Panthers owner and founder Jerry Richardson stepped down in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.

"I would like to buy the Panthers. Spread the word," tweeted Diddy, 48. "There are no majority African American NFL owners. Let's make history."

After his tweets late on Sunday, two African American sporting stars said they wanted to join his bid - Colin Kaepernick and Stephen Curry.

Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, began a movement in 2016 of players kneeling rather than holding a hand over their hearts during the national anthem as a protest against police brutality and other racial injustices in the US.

He no longer has a job - retaliation, his supporters have said, for his politics - and US President Donald Trump has seized on the issue, demanding that owners punish athletes who do not stand for the anthem.

Curry, astar for the Golden State Warriors, said he would not want to visit the White House with his National Basketball Association championship-winning team.

While more than two-thirds of players in the NFL are black, only one team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, has an owner of an ethnic minority - Pakistani-born tycoon Shahid Khan.

Diddy faces forbidding odds to buy the Panthers, as the move would need approval from other NFL owners, some of whom might be loath to a deal that gives a role to Kaepernick. - AFP

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