So Maybe Charity DOES Begin at Home?

Oct 20, 2012

This breaking story was just too good not to post and follow. As many of us already know, the NFL and its owners have taken advantage of any and every opportunity to rake in the money. Whether it’s by not paying people (from denying retired players their earned benefits to all of their Super Bowl half-time acts to perform for free) or just good old-fashioned tax evasion, they continue to exploit every single loophole to make sure not one dollar goes to anyone else. So it was no shock to see this detailed article on the recent disclosure that the NFL is… A CHARITY! An official nonprofit charity actually written into Federal Law that makes them completely exempt from Federal taxes! Are we even surprised?
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So here are a couple of questions: Does this mean that their donations of $1 million to Sports Legacy Institute and $30 million to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for brain injury studies are being written off as charitable donations? Why wouldn’t the NFL simply pay the retired players money for their injuries and write if off as charitable donations? (Maybe we already know the answer to that one!) And just how does that antitrust exemption work for an organization that’s already supposed to be a legally declared nonprofit? How about the team doctors who pay to work for each team? Do sponsorship fees from Riddell and Pepsi and Bud Light actually count as charitable contributions? Wouldn’t that make the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle Retired Football Players Retirement Plan the stingy charitable arm of this great nonprofit? And does this mean that Jerry Jones gets to write off his expenses in hiring his son-in-law to clean his glasses? Wow! Inquiring minds REALLY want to know!
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So after all these years, now we finally get it! The NFL is actually a philanthropic nonprofit and the NFLPA is a real union! We’re all brain-damaged and it took this long to understand everything!
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To quote from Senator Tom Coburn‘s Waste Book 2012 referred to in the article (we’ve included a full copy at the end of this post):
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“In 2010, the registered NFL nonprofit alone received $184 million from its 32 member teams. It holds over $1 billion in assets. Together with its subsidiaries and teams – many of which are for-profit, taxed entities – the NFL generates an estimated $9 billion annually. Each of its teams are among the top 50 most expensive sports teams in the world, ranking alongside the world’s famous soccer teams. Almost half of professional football teams are valued at over $1 billion…
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“League commissioners and officials benefit from the nonprofit status of their organizations. Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, reported $11.6 million in salary and perks in 2010 alone. Goodell’s salary will reportedly reach $20 million in 2019. Steve Bornstein, the executive vice president of media, made $12.2 million in 2010. Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue earned $8.5 million from the league in 2010. The league paid five other officials a total of $19.2 million in just one year. In comparison, the next highest salary of a traditional nonprofit CEO is $3.4 million.”
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Read the rest of Jay Bookman‘s article in the Atlanta Journal – click HERE.
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EDITOR’S NOTE (added 3:05 p.m. PST): Turns out there was an article written back in March of this year discussing the question “Can a nonprofit also have antitrust exemption?” You can read that article on SportsFan.org – just click HERE.
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EDITOR’S NOTE 2: And we just found and uploaded a copy of Waste Book 2012 to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it downloadable for printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close). The NFL charity is covered in pages 7 – 9:
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Wastebook 2012 Final
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2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Gordon & Glendora Wright
    October 20th, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Gordon Wright - NY Jets

    First a Lousiana Po Boy Special: Maybe Jonathan Vilma of the Saints now understands why he needs his own lawyer instead the self-serving NFLPA Lawyers.

    Wow! What a sweet deal from Congress:
    – A Great Big Antitrust Shield;
    – A great Non-Profit Shield;
    – A great Social Security Pension Shield;
    – A great We-the-NFL-Do-Not-Have-to-Pay-Our-Bills-on-Time Shield; and
    – A great We-the-NFL-can-write-off-anyone-and-anything-we-want Shield.

    Even England only has one Queen and one King at a time. It seems our Congress has appointed many Kings & Queens.

    Gordon Wright
    Philadelphia Eagles & New York Jets
    1967 – 1970

  2. Dave Pear
    October 21st, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Dave at Home

    Only a labor attorney could answer this question: Can the NFL legally have a NONPROFIT 501 (c)(6) classification and an ANTITRUST exemption at the same time? (And why?)

    Wouldn’t it be great if this labor attorney also happened to work for the US Department of Labor; this attorney could next oversee an audit of the Bell/Rozelle Pension/Disability Plan (debacle)?

    One can only hope for this much justice!

    Best,
    Dave & Heidi Pear