America’s Biggest Welfare King – the NFL

I love watching football, both college and pro. I spend more time with college football now, though the horrible Pac-12 network makes watching the games I want to see often impossible. I had season tickets for the entire existence of the LA Raiders, but since they left town, my loyalties have been here, there, and everywhere, changing as coaches and players go from college to pro and from team to team. I like Jacksonville because Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis have starred there, I like New England because my father, a giant sports fan throughout his life, was from Boston, and because owner Robert Kraft is a great philanthropist, and I despise Seattle since they hired that scum uncle petey as coach. But the NFL as a business entity is uncaring, corrupt, and one of the biggest scams around, ripping off disabled players and American taxpayers.

On August 31 I wrote about the effort the NFL was making to bring a change to California law so that ex-players who were suffering from long-term cumulative trauma injuries would no longer have access to disability and medical care through the California Workers’

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Compensation system (“NFL and Other Leagues Seek Exceptions From California Injury Laws“). They succeeded in their efforts, as the bill sailed through both the state assembly and senate. California was the one state in the country that recognized the needs of workers who suffered from cumulative injuries developed over years, but who only had limited connection to the state. It’s

ok for the state to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in income taxes from athletes who play as few as one game a year in California, but the state’s workers’ injury system is now denied to them, all thanks to the NFL and it’s efforts to preserve its vast wealth without having to share a pittance with disabled former athletes – most who were journeymen who earned far less than the salaries paid out to stars – who can now neither function in society nor earn a living.

But an even bigger scam that the NFL has gotten away with is this: Did you know that the NFL is, for tax-purposes, considered a Non Profit organization, EXEMPT from federal income taxes*, and thus also from many state and local taxes?

The NFL is composed essentially of two-and-one-half dozen billionaire owners, takes in tens of billions of dollars in television revenue, and pays its commission Roger Goddell a $30 M per year salary? Around the country, taxpayer funds are used to build and maintain stadiums

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and roads to and from them, and to ensure public safety at games. But there are even bigger issues.

Corporate welfare has played a major role in the economic troubles this country has faced for years. While lawmakers far too easily deny the working poor, the disabled, and the elderly the benefits they need to survive, no effort whatsoever is made to stop the massive giveaways to billion-dollar corporate giants. Whether you consider subsidies, tax rebates, or tax exempt statuses, the NFL is one of the country’s most massive thieves, stealing money form the pockets of US taxpayers.

The NFL is the most profitable sports league in the world. But according to the IRS, it is a NON-PROFIT enterprise, exempt from income tax. It should be noted that NEITHER major league baseball nor the NBA enjoys such status.

I am no fan of Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, but

he is the one politician who has raised this issue, actually going so far as to attach an amendment to another Senate tax bill that would end the NFL’s exemption. In 2012 he wrote:

“These organizations are taking advantage of the provision of the tax code that allows industry and trade groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or the Natural Resources Defense Council, to qualify as non-profit and tax-exempt.”

The website has reported that the NFL paid $1.9 M last year on lobbying efforts in order to maintain its unique position with governmental entities including the IRS.

The thugs and gangsters who run the NFL are more dangerous than the thugs on the field.
*The NFL is organized as a trade or industry association that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code

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