On this Monday there is essentially only one topic being discussed around the water cooler, the weekend of NFL players taking a knee in “protests.” While the debate over the merits of this rages, The NFL may actually be facing a bigger issue than declining ratings and a lack of viewers.
Most of America may not be aware that the NFL is actually a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. A closer look from the IRS at this status and the raging political protests could spell doom for the football league.
Tremendous backlash against the NFL and its players for disrespect of our Country.#StandForOurAnthem🇺🇸
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017
There is no doubt that the NFL has made their decision to support all their players and now coaches who are choosing this public form of protest. There have been no fines, no warnings, nothing at all from league officials. Perhaps they should have checked the IRS codes first.
The NFL, with its status, can encourage citizens to vote, however, according to the IRS’ Restriction on Intervention of a Political Campaign;
“… voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.”
The NFL also receives approximately $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies from the government. On top of that, they also get tax breaks in the range of hundreds of millions one stadiums, practice facilities, etc.
We will air this Unity spot in tonight’s game. It reflects the unifying force of our great game, our players & clubs https://t.co/b6AOOLihKl
— Roger Goodell (@nflcommish) September 24, 2017
So in essence, we are paying to subsidize everything the NFL does, not only in ticket and merchandise money but also with subsidies and tax breaks. In return, we are forced to sit through political protests because they don’t like the president? That certainly doesn’t seem like a fair trade. Tom Basile, host of radio show “Sunday in America” summed it up fairly well;
“Roger Goodell and team owners are playing with fire. In an effort to pander to their own players’ politics, they’re insulting a broad cross-section of Americans who are sick of the politicization of everything. But perhaps more damaging for the NFL is that fact that they risk exposing a tax scheme that will further enrage fans and potentially jeopardize their entire business model. The last thing Goodell wants is people talking about the NFL’s tax-exempt status and taxpayer subsidies.”
Source: Washington Examiner