While the NFL isn’t a government-run institution, it does receive a lot of tax subsidies from Uncle Sam.
Taxpayers at all levels of government foot the bill in subsidizing the construction of football stadiums to the total of an estimated $1 billion annually. In just the past decade, we’ve seen a handful of stadiums built in part with your tax dollars, among them being for teams like 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).
Contrary to popular belief, these stadiums don’t even stimulate the local economies where they’re built.
Now, according to Breitbart, President Donald Trump called for the United States to end special tax breaks for the NFL, after the organization continued to allow players to disrespect the national anthem.
“Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country?” Trump asked. “Change tax law!”
Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
At the beginning of this month, Florida’s Rep. Matt Gaetz called on his fellow congressmen to end the tax-exempt status of the NFL following the rise in National Anthem protests. Rep. Gaetz endorsed H.R. 296, the Pro Sports Act, that ends the tax-exempt status for professional sports organizations.
Gaetz said that while the players have a right to free speech, they don’t have a right to speech without consequence. “When people kneel during our national anthem, they don’t simply indict the issue with which they have some particular grievance, they indict our country, our service members, our first-responders, our founding fathers and the principles that made this country great” he said to Congress.
To be honest, Trump and Gaetz don’t even need to cite “disrespecting our anthem” when making their case. Sports isn’t something the government should’ve ever been subsidizing in the first place.
I think that millionaires and billionaires can afford their own stadiums, don’t you?