I Accuse: NFL crushes backs of average Americans

In “I Accuse,” inspired by the famous open letter by Emile Zola bearing the same name, Opinion Editor Justin Hawkins seeks to challenge established ideas, whether political in nature or related to JC. No one can hide from the truth.


Football is one of my favorite sports to watch. I love it at all levels, whether it’s high school, college, or professional. I watch pretty much every Ravens game, and I follow a few other professional teams as well. However, the NFL is an organization I have lost all respect for.

The NFL is the most lucrative professional sports league in the world. According to a CNN article about government subsidies given to the NFL, the NFL took in over $10.5 billion in gross revenue during the 2014 season. Yet, the NFL as an organization is tax exempt because it is considered by the U.S. government to be a charity.

The NFL operates in what can be basically be described as a Fascist model. Not only are they tax exempt, but they also receive massive amounts of money in the form of government subsidies. Since 1997, the U.S. taxpayers have been charged $4.7 billion to pay for the construction of 20 new NFL stadiums.

The Dallas Cowboys’ stadium is worth about $1.2 billion, according to an article on Bloomberg.com. It was paid for, not by multi-billionaire team owner Jerry Jones who has a net worth estimated at $4.2 billion, but mostly by the American taxpayer. That’s right, not just the Texan taxpayer, but every American. The rest was paid for by tax-free borrowing in the form of bonds from the city of Arlington, where the Cowboys play.

One of the Cowboys’ biggest rivals are the New York Giants. The Giants have traditionally shared a stadium with the New York Jets in New Jersey, but they have recently constructed a new stadium. The old stadium, the Meadowlands, was torn down and turned into a parking lot. New Jersey residents pay $110 million a year in debt caused by the old stadium, according to an article in the New York Times.

According to an article in the Atlantic, 12 of the 32 NFL teams make a profit on subsides they get for building stadiums. Without selling any broadcast rights, without playing a single game, and without doing anything, 12 NFL teams turn a profit.

The NFL is immune to Antitrust Acts. Monopolies are illegal in the United States, yet there is only one company – the NFL – that controls the entire market of professional football. They receive massive amounts of government help and then make massive amounts of money.

No politician wants to be the one to force the hometown team to move away, and they may in fact be a fan of the team themselves. Politicians often brush shoulders with owners.

Pittsburgh Steelers President Dan Rooney was named Ambassador to Ireland by President Obama. Hopeful 2016 Republican Presidential candidate and New Jersey governor Chris Christie was seen jumping up and down, hugging Jerry Jones after the Cowboys playoff win against the Detroit Lions this post-season.

This is “Crony Capitalism” at its very worst. It is a perversion of how things should operate in the United States. It is totally unfair to the average hard-working American on whose backs this NFL owners and other high ranking officials get rich off of. America loves the NFL, but the NFL doesn’t seem to love America back.

Justin Hawkins is an Opinion Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.org.