Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has supported President Donald Trump in the past, up to and including last year’s controversial decision to host a big-ticket fundraiser for him. With the election little more than two months away, Ross has become more restrained in his support.
In fact, it’s possible that Ross no longer supports the incumbent president at all.
In a recent interview with David Gelles of the New York Times, Ross was asked why he’s supporting President Trump.
“I mean, first of all, who said I was?” Ross said.
Reminded that Ross hosted a fundraiser for Trump, Ross said this: “Right. So I mean, look. I’ve known President Trump for a long time. I’ve known him and I’ve liked him. I don’t agree with a lot of his policies. I believe there’s a lot of good, and I believe there’s a lot of bad. At that point there was a fundraiser at my house I was looking for certain things to benefit New York. But I haven’t really made a decision who I’m voting for.”
Ross said he disagrees with the President on climate issues, and that he has “been a little divisive.” (That’s like saying the Dolphins have “been a little mediocre” during the Stephen Ross era.)
It sounds like Ross now regrets hosting the fundraiser. At a minimum, he regrets the backlash it created.
“If I would have known the impact of what happened last year, would I have thought about it differently?” he said. “Of course. I mean, here I am being called a racist when I’ve set up and spent more money as an individual in dealing with racism than anybody in the country, and I was ahead of the game. But you know what? The best thing is to keep your mouth shut. You go about your business because that’s what matters.”
He was asked whether he would have actually done anything differently, if he’d been aware of the reaction.
“I’m not saying I would have had it or I wouldn’t have,” Ross said. “But seeing how it’s impacted my business partners, of course I would have to look at it differently. But I never complained. It happened. It’s unfortunate. It caused a lot of problems for my business partners and everything. A lot of money was lost from people who were complaining about me. It makes me feel terrible. But I know who I am and I will continue fighting for those causes that I believe need to be dealt with. I will fight for climate control. I will fight against racism. I’m probably the biggest advocate in the country on both of them.”
Ross declined to say whether he’ll ultimately vote for President Trump.
“I didn’t try to be in the news,” Ross said. “I’m not looking to be in the news. I don’t look at myself as a public figure. I’m a businessman who fortunately, from my perspective, has been successful. I’ve given back. I’m going to give back more than half what I have to charity. I’m not looking to be some public figure, and I’m not controlling everything.”
Ross should have thought of the various pathways to becoming a public figure before he bought, you know, an NFL team — and before he started selling slivers of the franchise to all sorts of celebrities.
Still, it appears that Ross has learned the hard way one of the most important first-world lessons: The only thing better than being rich and famous is being rich.