USFL Owner Once Threatened to Punch Donald Trump in the Face in an Angry Letter

Donald Trump didn’t make many friends during his time in the USFL.

Not Available Lead
Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

Not Available Lead

Back in the 1980s, Donald Trump was the owner of the USFL’s New Jersey Generals. And believe it or not, there were quite a few of his fellow USFL owners who didn’t like him. That’s putting it nicely, too. According to many reports, most USFL owners hated Trump and didn’t like that he was associated with the league.

One owner apparently hated him more than any of the others, though. Tampa Bay Bandits owner John Bassett didn’t like what Trump was all about and didn’t appreciate the way he conducted himself during league meetings. So he wrote a letter to him in 1984 and, while he praised him for being a “talented and successful young man,” he also let Trump know in no uncertain terms that he would punch him right in the face if he ever got out of line with him. He wrote:

“You are bigger, younger, and stronger than I, which means I’ll have no regrets whatsoever punching you right in the mouth the next time an instance occurs where you personally scorn me, or anyone else, who does not happen to salute and dance to your tune.”

Bassett was dealing with a series of brain tumors at the time and he passed away less than two years later, but he clearly didn’t let it stop him from letting Trump know exactly what he thought about him. You can read his entire letter, which was uncovered by Jeff Pearlman who is writing a USFL book, here.

Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to

Latest in Sports