Senators threaten NFL’s nonprofit status
The nation’s largest nonprofit, the National Football League (NFL), could lose its tax-exempt status. U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) have both come out in full-fledged support of revoking the nonprofit’s status, but for different reasons. Booker’s motivation comes from the league’s hesitance to ban domestic violence abusers, while Cantwell is looking to respond to the NFL’s failure to force their Washington team to change its name to one that isn’t a racial slur.
While its 32 clubs pay taxes, the league does not. That makes Roger Goodell one of the highest paid nonprofit heads in the country, with a salary of nearly $45 million every year.
Introduced on Tuesday, S. 2816 would direct $100 million in taxes that professional sports leagues are currently avoiding into domestic violence prevention programs under the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act to provide emergency shelter, supporting victims of abuse who struggle to escape because of financial dependence and fear for their lives.
Cantwell said that she would introduce legislation to strip the National Football League of its non-profit status for failing to rename the Washington, D.C., football team and change to a mascot that does not insult the history and culture of Native Americans.
Booker's bill follows the high-profile reports of abuse by two NFL players. TMZ-released a video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his girlfriend unconscious last month, while Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted for felony child abuse for beat his 4-year-old son with a tree branch. Earlier this year, Goodell responded to Rice’s abuse by suspending him for two games. When the video sparked public outrage, Goodell suspended the player indefinitely.
But the two players are just part of a larger issue of ignored abuse. A dozen players who still out on the field have been arrested for domestic violence or abuse charges in the past decade, according to a USA Today database of NFL player’s arrests and convictions.
Government transparency website GovTrack.us has predicted that the bill has no chance of being enacted.