The NFL provides an interesting diversion for many in a variety of ways.
Some people now seem to enjoy the almost nonstop football games now on television. The wins and losses and ups and downs of a favorite team are endlessly discussed by fans.
Many boys dream of becoming an NFL player.
NFL players make huge wages and everyone around them also make a lot of money.
Interestingly, professional football leagues have been granted 501(c)(6) tax exempt status by the IRS, apparently the result of legislative maneuvering during the NFL-AFL merger in 1966.
U.S. Senator Cory Booker is working to see that changed and has introduced legislation in Congress.
For the NFL, generating at least 9 billion dollars in revenue last season, qualification as a nonprofit is silly.
Most nonprofits are organized to benefit the sick, the poor, the ill, and the employees are generally volunteers or if they receive wages, are fairly low and produce only enough income to be self-sustaining. That definitely doesn’t describe the NFL. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other employees are paid millions in wages each year.
Each NFL team pays dues, but since the dues are to a nonprofit, they are considered a donation.
The league isn’t required to be a charity by the letter of the law, but says it is a trade association that helps its members cooperate. Supporters of the designation say the NFL is nonprofit because they pour money back into the company. Also, the teams are not tax-exempt.
However, individual teams are definitely not acting in public interest by telling municipalities they will move teams unless they receive concessions such as property tax abatement, long-term low cost loans and payments to keep teams in town.
In addition, the NHL, USTA, and PGA also operate under the exemption.
While the NFL may not be violating the law, what is being done is simply wrong.