The thing that always strikes me about people’s reactions to the general fuckery carried out by pro sports owners is the genuine disbelief. You look at some galactically rich piece of puddy asking taxpayers to build him a new stadium and you can’t help but ask, “Is this guy fucking serious?” You see a bunch of NFL owners celebrate a year spent shamelessly torturing three separate fanbases with a Roman feast, and you wonder what planet these guys are from. Allow Rams owner Stan Kroenke to clear a few things up for you.
Fresh off kicking the city of St. Louis in the face and moving his bad football team to Los Angeles, Kroenke sat down for a Q&A with the Los Angeles Times. I’d like to direct your attention to on particular moment from that Q&A:
Q: Who reached out to you, Stan?
Kroenke: One of the first guys that texted me last night was Terry Fancher [Stockbridge Capital’s executive managing director and a development partner with the Inglewood stadium site]. He was just so excited. He said, “Stan, I just landed in L.A. You should see this town.”
He said, “You have changed this city.” It was cool. … You know what I’m glad about? Certain people relied on us. This guy right here [motioning to Demoff with his voice cracking] … It’s emotional because a lot of good people relied on us. We came through for them. Didn’t know if we could. It’s never a sure thing.
Q: How do you feel about leaving St. Louis?
Kroenke: It truly is bittersweet. I grew up in Missouri, and there’s a lot of wonderful people in St. Louis and Missouri. I’ll always feel that way about Missouri. I never dreamed I’d be put in this position. But at the same time, you’re not going to sit there and be a victim.
It’s fitting that these two answers come in succession. In the first, we have Kroenke showing some real human emotion—getting choked up, even!—over his responsibility to Rams VP of football operations Kevin Demoff, another obscenely wealthy person who would be just fine if the Rams still played in St. Louis. And then you have him sleepwalking through an answer to a question about the thousands of Rams fans he extorted and abandoned.
Stan Kroenke, along with all of the other owners living in America’s upper crust, don’t think about us at all. The people who Kroenke feels the need to do right by are not the fans who pay for his stadium, buy his tickets, and maintain the value of the NFL’s TV contracts, but the guys he eats steak with. This is the joke. You can ask people like Kroenke all the angry questions you want, but the answers don’t exist, because he never heard you in the first place.
Photo via Getty