Taxpayer Subsidies for Billionaire Owners

Ryan Hite, Jordan Henry, John and Andy Schlafly
11-14-2017

Phyllis Schlafly applauded Pete Rozelle, founder of the modern NFL and inventor of the Super Bowl, for respecting our American values and traditions, by not scheduling football games on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Rozelle also kept gambling out of football during his nearly 30-year tenure.

However, the current NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, has played footsie with gamblers by making deals with weekly fantasy football games, which are thinly disguised gambling, while fans are deciding not to fill stadiums in several major markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Today’s NFL has become a massive entitlement program for billionaires, one of the worst examples of corporate welfare. Like others who enjoy lavish lifestyles based on government handouts, many NFL owners are ungrateful to the American system that makes their success possible.

Near Detroit, the now-roofless Pontiac Silverdome sits as a colossal piece of litter that contributes to the blight of that once successful center of automobile manufacturing. Other cities, from Saint Louis to San Diego, have been harmed by the NFL taking big subsidies from local taxpayers and then, before public bonds are paid off, skipping town to a more profitable deal somewhere else.

With attendance and viewership in decline, the NFL has increasingly embraced gambling as a way of boosting its own profits at the expense of those vulnerable to that addiction. Its decision to move the Raiders to Las Vegas will make football seem more like a game of roulette or blackjack than family entertainment.

In the wake of the NFL’s ‘Take A Knee’ controversy, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin summed this issue up well on one of the Sunday morning talk shows, remarking that NFL players “can do free speech on their own time.” They do not have to insult our Nation in taxpayer-built stadiums before captive audiences.

Congress should hold hearings on how much taxpayer money is flowing to support the current anti-American conduct of the NFL, and state legislatures should consider passing laws to cut off that money at the local level. While NFL players and owners have a right to be unpatriotic, Americans should not be forced to foot the bill.

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