Politics

The NFL Has Its Hands Deep in Taxpayer Money

football taxpayer NFLI’m calling foul on all the leftists rushing to protect the NFL’s protest crusaders from President Donald Trump’s criticism of their national anthem antics.

Their shabby line of defense? The NFL is a “private enterprise” whose “rights” are being violated by those who dare to challenge the league’s political radicalization.

The anti-Trump Democratic Coalition has even filed an ethics complaint alleging that the president’s comments constitute a criminal violation against using government offices “to influence the employment decisions and practices” of a private entity.

Funny. These fair-weather friends of corporate free speech and the First Amendment were nowhere to be found when Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were vowing to shut down Chick-Fil-A in their towns as government retaliation against the founders’ private religious beliefs.

As for the NFL’s status as a “private” enterprise? That’s some Super Bowl-sized audacity right there.

I first started tracking publicly subsidized sports boondoggles with my very first watchdog website, Porkwatch, back in 1999. Since then, taxpayers at all levels of government have foot the bill for football stadiums to the tune of an estimated $1 billion every year.

Over the past decade, new tax-supported NFL stadiums rose up for the Indianapolis Colts (the $720 million Lucas Oil Stadium), the Dallas Cowboys (the $1.15 billion AT&T Stadium), the New York Jets and Giants (the $1.6 billion MetLife Stadium), the Minnesota Vikings (the $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium), the Atlanta Falcons (the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium), and the San Francisco 49ers (the $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara).

Next in the works: a whopping $2.6 billion stadium for the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams and a $1.9 billion stadium for the Oakland Raiders when they move to Las Vegas.

Left behind? An $83 million taxpayer debt on two-decade-old renovations to the Alameda County Coliseum that the Raiders are abandoning.

Both political parties have supported massive redistribution of taxes from working people to the gridiron’s spoiled 1-percenters. Public-private sports palace boosters employ the same bogus economic development math as the federal government’s infamous Solyndra green energy loans, stimulus rip-offs, and jobs programs.

Citizens are promised an enormous multiplier of jobs and benefits in return for their “investments.” But instead they’ve been saddled with a field of schemes.

Sports economists have concluded repeatedly that the effects of stadium subsidies on employment and economic activity are negligible—or even negative.

Scott Wolla of the St. Louis Federal Reserve reported earlier this year, “In a 2017 poll, 83 percent of the economists surveyed agreed that ‘Providing state and local subsidies to build stadiums for professional sports teams is likely to cost the relevant taxpayers more than any local economic benefits that are generated.’”

Yet, the NFL, its teams, and its sponsors continue to benefit from a bonanza of tax-free loans, municipal bonds, rent waivers, and property tax exemptions. Congress provided the league with an antitrust exemption that protects its monopoly broadcasting rights.

Localities have raided “emergency” funds to help pay for stadium construction. And corporate benefactors write off their expenses for luxury boxes, tickets, and naming-rights purchases.

As long as the NFL has its hog noses buried in the taxpayer trough, I’ll keep speaking up about all the football militants who backed former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and his disgusting cops-as-pigs socks.

You wanna raise your fists on the field? Get your grubby hands out of our pockets first.

From - The Daily Signal - by Michelle Malkin

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SARGE
4 years ago

I swore off the nfl a couple wks ago, I can’t believe I dont even miss it. Really, I don’t miss it. Blows my mind. Going to the SDSU game sat against Boise State. When I did this i thought to myself, oh your gonna cave in
It’s not hard at all.

Rudy Dagnello
4 years ago

I refuse to have anything to do with anything that is sponsored by the NFL, until the NFL makes it mandatory to stand respectfully at attention during our National Anthem. The NFL Commissioner is a puppet of the left.

Tony oakes
4 years ago

No support for the rich!

Tony oakes
4 years ago

Damn public ally supporting stadiums for the rich!

Larry
4 years ago

I have always felt that the players of both teams should pay a small percent of their salary on game day to play upon the place that the TAXPAYERS has for them. I ask you is 2 or 4 percent to much to ask for out of their salary for 2 to 4 hours work, it being football, baseball, basketball, hockey. No charge on the time they might practice there. Don’t we pay taxes several ways for the parks where some of us use for walking or our kids to visit and run on nice days or play tag. I think that they should pay for having a nice playing area that is paid for by the people.

JIM WILBOURN
4 years ago

I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN SAID. BUT, LETS BE REALISTIC, IT’S OUR OWN FAULT FOR NOT DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT SOONER. WE THE PEOPLE, FOUND OUT LAST NOVEMBER THAT WE CAN BUCK THE SYSTEM AND HAVE IT WORK FOR US,, “WE THE PEOPLE.” WE ALSO NOW HAVE A LEADER THAT DOESN’T NEED TO BE BEHOLDEN TO ANY SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS TO MAKE MONEY. HE CAME TO THE GAME WITH ALLTHE MONEY HE NEEDS, SO HE DOESN’T NEED HAND-OUTS FROM ANY GROUPS. AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, HE HAS THE “BALLS” TO STAND-UP TO THE GROUPS WHO ARE TRYING TO TARE APART OUR COUNTRY. I THINK THE LIBERAL LEFT ARE RUNNING SCARED OF “WE THE PEOPLE” AND THE STRENGTH WE NOW KNOW WE HAVE. THEY KEEP TALKING ABOUT TAKING BACK CONGRESS AT THE 2018 MID-TERMS. I THINK THEY ARE GOING TO GET THEIR COLLECTIVE ASSES KICKED WORSE THAN THEY DID LAST NOVEMBER. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK MR. PRESIDENT. WE THE PEOPLE ARE WITH YOU…………………………….

Raymond
4 years ago

Back when the 49ers QB knelt through the National Anthem, I wrote to, “Just ignore him.” Quote him, or keep putting cameras on him, will make it bigger and bigger. Now it is the ESPN News of the Day who will sit/kneel/not even be on the field in tomorrow’s games.
I watch football because I’m in a pool with some friends picking three games on Sunday to see who gets the most wins at the end of the season.
When a game starts at 1:00 I put the game on my TV at 1:15, so I miss all this bull

Tom
4 years ago

I left the Democratic Party because they told us that there would have to be some unlawful things performed so that they could get elected and once they were elected they would eliminate those path and stay elected. I left and became Independent. They eliminated nothing. Quite the contrary. They added so, so much more. If you truly follow them to their NRA (illegal) procedure you would leave also.

Pete from St Pete
4 years ago

In Tampa they had a referendum to decide whether the city should provide substantial financing to build a new stadium for the Buccaneers. The voters voted about 60% in favor of it, so the stadium was built using taxpayer dollars. The 40% who voted against it still have to contribute their share of taxes whether they liked it or not, or move somewhere else. The tyranny of the majority.

Tom Wilde
4 years ago

Aren’t the professional sports leagues like the NFL specifically exempted from Federal Anti-Trust Laws? That’s another little bit of government largesse that they enjoy. All other types of BUSINESSES must comply with a law library full of stifling anti-trust laws and regulations like those that mandate Affirmative Action.

Maybe it’s time to pull the field of taxpayer greenbacks out from under the grasping, ungrateful a-holes and make them subject to ALL of the law. When was the last time you heard of a bonding issue that pays for the building your neighborhood McDonalds wants to move into?

Hey, they want to pee all over the flag, the country, police and white America, let them do it without the freebies they get from all of them. We gave them everything that makes them what they are and the Lib/Globalist/Communists turned around and attacked us for it.

Enough is enough. PAY YOU OWN WAY NFL!

And I want to see 80% of the NFL rosters filled by WHITE people. Hey, aren’t WE covered by affirmative action too?

Larry
4 years ago
Reply to  Tom Wilde

White people is cover under the affirmative action, the give end not the take end.

Robert
4 years ago

I do not see how the republicans can work with the democrats period when the democrats are trying to transform this country into socialist and communist country.There suppose to protect us from the enemy well that is who the democrats are the enemy.

Daniel
4 years ago

It is time for the NFL to carry its own weight, instead of tax-payers subsidizing the pro teams. They use the stadiums that the taxes of American citizens build, then desert these stadiums for “newer and different” stadiums, leaving the taxpayer to pay off the debt. Make pro football pay its own way. The NFL is not “sponsored by America”.

Lee McQuillen
4 years ago
Reply to  Daniel

You are so very right. They’re a commercial enterprise and should pay for what they need/want. Manufacturers don’t get all this “assistance” from government entities so the NFL shouldn’t either. I resent it when my tax dollars are going into a sports stadium. I’d rather see it go into decent education, especially for those in the inner cities. Those athletes are rich because of this country and should always show respect for our flag, national anthem, veterans, etc. They need to put their money into constructive things to address any issues they have. Sports is supposed to be entertainment but it’s become political. We won’t be watching any football in this house. Didn’t watch much of farm aid concert or awards show either since they turned it into a political forum for their views. If it’s entertainment, that’s what it should be. They all need to keep their political views out of it – go spout off somewhere else!

Wayne Peterkin
4 years ago

Way to go Michelle! Great article and I agree wholeheartedly! I would add the Houston Oilers leaving Houston holding the bag on some $90 million in Astrodome improvements that the taxpayers had to eat, then having to build two new stadiums; one for the Astros and baseball, a second for the NFL Texans. I don’t remember the cost of each but both have roofs that open/close making them expensive. I also seem to remember some special anti-trust and tax exemptions these sports franchises get.

Wayne Peterkin
4 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Peterkin

One minor issue I forgot to mention. Just how much and which political candidates get funding from these franchises? I suspect a former mayor of Houston got a lot of help after pushing the new stadiums through. Follow the money!

John
4 years ago

What is it exactly they are protesting now anyway? There seems to be more being debated about their right to do what they want and the original whatever (and who really cares anymore) the protest was for is lost in the debate. You got a bunch of millionaire football players who can’t really comprehend that the average American family barely scrapes by on less than $50,000 a year (I am sure this number is probably even too high). Grow up, find the right venue and time and place to throw your tantrums. I wonder out loud “do we even need professional football”? Couldn’t these resources be used for better purposes? Don’t get me wrong, I love football but college football (also a big business) can suffice.

Larry
4 years ago
Reply to  John

I know of no one who makes $50,000 a year, high $20,000’s maybe low $30,000 and that is both of the parents working, and 80 bucks for a ticket once a year.

Martin
4 years ago

When will these owners and stupid players understand that we the fans are paying for them to disrespect our flag, our Country, and Veterans will exercise our freedom of where we spend our money and it won’t be on them. With out our money they would not stay in the business of owning an NFL team or the players would not be millionaires.
Sam Walton is right the sooner the owners and players really understand who the real boss is this nonsense will stop.
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else”
Sam Walton
We the fans will refuse to spend several hundred dollars to go to a game or watch on a game on TV and see them disrespect our flag and Country.

Trap
4 years ago

IMO with all that is going on with the nfl is just boycott the nfl. last year we boycotted any game with SF, this year we have boycotted the nfl. it was/is easier for me then the wife but she is all in. there has been NO nfl on our tv or anything else and there will not be. We might be the only ones in America doing this for real but I will not, anytime soon, go back to watching the nfl or any thing to do with the nfl at this point.

God Bless America
Trap

Gee
4 years ago

How do we defund them? Enough is enough. They make tons of money, take are of your own stadiums and lower the players wages to do it. I am done. BOYCOTT

TPTSCHAAR
4 years ago
Reply to  Gee

I had enough 20 years ago when I first learned about the public funding to subsidize professional sports venues and haven’t watched a professional sporting event since. I find it more entertaining to watch high school sports when I want to see a game – they are much more enjoyable and it’s more about the sport and sportsmanship.

Hen3ry
4 years ago
Reply to  TPTSCHAAR

The HS game
You have to pay attention
No TV timeouts or instant replay
And Sundays can be better without the NFL

Bill Hartwig
4 years ago

Unfortunately, this will never change because the politicians and high ranking staff would lose their free tickets and invites to the owners private stadium suites . Meanwhile, we the taxpayer foots the bill.

Rik
4 years ago

I love how the left is so quick to evoke “free speech” when they want to protest something, yet when a Conservative shows up on a college campus they then “deny them their free speech” crying about how their “safe spaces” are being encroached upon. … They’re just a bunch of phony hypocrites!!!

Hank
4 years ago

I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of expression. But what is it that Kapernick is protesting? And what impact does it have for his cause if he sits through the National Anthem? Rather than be negative, why not do something positive/constructive? The world is not a perfect place – there will ALWAYS be something to protest. But are you going to do something constructive, or are you a rebel without a cause? And if you are able to get a law enacted (to get people to do what they wouldn’t otherwise do), who will enforce it if not the police? If the police are in question, there is Internal Affairs. But I don’t know who polices Internal Affairs. Maybe Colin should do some inner-city ride-alongs.

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