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From The Ramparts

Junious Ricardo Stanton

NFL= National Fascist League

 

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power” Benito Mussolini

 

            When you look at professional sports, especially pro football in the US, you notice a pattern; almost every stadium is named after a corporate entity. Take a look at the NFL stadium in your town or city, more than likely it is named after some corporate entity like Nissan, Mercedes Benz, AT&T, Lincoln Financial, MetLife, FedEx, Bank of America, M&T Bank, Lucas Oil to name a few.

So what, what’s the big deal you ask? The big deal is the NFL which according to its articles of incorporation stands for National Football League should be more accurately referred to as the National Fascist League! Why are you going there, why do you say that you ask? Because most if not all of the NFL’s stadiums (as well as most Major League Baseball and the NBA venues) have been paid for with tax payer dollars but they carry the names of corporate entities!

You as a tax payer have helped these franchises become extremely profitable. What I ask did/do you get out of it? Do you personally receive a check or dividend from the local team or the NFL? Does the city or county in which the local NFL stadium is located get any money from the team owner or the NFL?

The use of taxpayer dollars had to be approved by a governing body. A city council, county commissioners or a special authority had to approve the measure. In some circles this is called a public-private partnership. In the case or cases where and when the private entity or entities (such as a professional sports team or league) get the major benefit of the deal, it’s not really capitalism per se; it’s really either socialism or fascism. In the case of the NFL, we the people got the shaft so it was not socialism. Other than being able to root for the local team or that particular sport, what did/do you get out of it? How much money do you get from that arrangement? How has your community benefitted from this deal? How much does hooping and hollering and wearing a team’s paraphernalia count and does that pay any of your bills?  

Until two years ago the NFL offices were tax exempt. http://time.com/3839164/nfl-tax-exempt-status/  The NFL office was a 501(c) 6 registered trade organization. The individual NFL teams pay taxes but the NFL office was registered as a tax exempt non profit entity. Keep in mind; this designation had to be approved by the US government specifically the IRS despite the fact that at the time of the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 a monopoly was being created which is against the law. But US government agencies like the Justice Department and IRS looked the other way.

 What is the probability of you or me as private citizens or fledgling entrepreneurs being allowed to skirt Justice Department and IRS rules and regulations?! This clearly shows the power of money and the nexus between money favorable government treatment which almost inevitably leads to corruption.

There is nothing wrong with public private partnerships but they should be a win-win arrangements that benefit the public in some tangible way just like it puts millions of dollars in the NFL team owners’ pockets. What do we get out of the use of our tax dollars?

The NFL gets paid billions to broadcast their games on the radio, television, (which until recently were considered publicly owned air space) cable and streaming services, how much of this money do we get since our tax dollars helped pay for the venues?! http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/09/news/nfl-sports-stadiums-tax-breaks...  There is also the question of who owns the airways. In recent years US court rulings have said the airways aren’t free or the public domain. https://www.cruiselinehistory.com/supreme-court-judges-rule-public-...   In fact most municipalities give huge tax breaks to the NFL teams in their jurisdictions. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/how-the-nfl-fl... Plus the military pays the NFL for the jet flyovers and pre-game ceremonies! What do we get out of that except brainwashing?

In Philadelphia when the Eagles and Phillies were negotiating for their new stadiums several years ago, part of the agreement was they would kick in money to help the schools which helped lower the burden on the taxpayers and helped the school district. But this type of arrangement is an anomaly rather than the norm.

The NFL owners recently bent to pressure from Trump and their corporate sponsors and the owners voted unanimously to arbitrarily and capriciously ban players from refusing to stand for the Star Spangled Banner or using on-field gestures of dissent. Trump pressured the NFL to shut down their players much like Adolph Hitler punished a German soccer team in 1934 for failing to give the Nazi salute.  https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/german-football-club-banned-faili...  Do you see any similarities?

 

                                    -30-

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