At least one National Football League owner reportedly believes United States President Donald Trump is "trying to destroy" the league with his repeated attacks on social media.
On Wednesday, Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman relayed a response from an NFL owner about Trump's comments directed at the league, which some owners think stem from the president's failed attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014.
"He's trying to destroy us. He's trying to use race to divide the players and our fans," the owner said. "It's all over a grudge."
Trump has consistently taken aim at the NFL for not punishing players who refuse to stand for the national anthem as a form of protest against racial injustice.
On Tuesday, Trump called the league "weak and out of control" in his latest comments on the NFL:
Last week, he said Commissioner Roger Goodell had "lost control" of the situation:
The criticism began to ramp up in September when he suggested NFL owners should fire players who didn't stand during the anthem.
Meanwhile, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started the protest movement during the 2016 preseason, filed a collective bargaining agreement grievance in October against NFL owners, arguing they have colluded not to sign him as a free agent.
The rift between the country's top sports league and the president comes at a time when the NFL's television ratings continue to slide, per Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Daily:
On Wednesday, Jim Trotter and Jason Reid of ESPN.com reported the league made a proposal to players to contribute "at least $89 million over a seven-year period" to causes in African-American communities in an effort to end the protest movement.