As the battle between President Trump and the NFL over the national anthem took center stage over the weekend, liberal pundits pointed out that the league and its players have every right to protest the American flag.
However, the NFL's political jousting may very well have them offsides with taxpayers, who often support the construction of shiny news stadiums through government dollars or tax benefits.
The players are walking a fine line with their very public #TakeAKnee political protest.
The NFL rakes in an estimated $1 billion in profits each year while enjoying taxpayer funding for stadiums. As it stands now, the league receives billions of dollars in funding from local governments, and on top of that receives hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks annually for their teams, stadiums, practice facilities, and more.
Tom Basile, host of "Sunday in America" on SiriusXM radio, said this:
Roger Goodell and team owners are playing with fire. In an effort to pander to their own players' politics, they're insulting a broad cross-section of Americans who are sick of the politicization of everything. But perhaps more damaging for the NFL is that fact that they risk exposing a tax scheme that will further enrage fans and potentially jeopardize their entire business model. The last thing Goodell wants is people talking about the NFL's...taxpayer subsidies.
The NFL aired in primetime their "Unity" ad on Sunday night, which seemed more like a political campaign spot than a public service ad.
If the cleat were on the other foot, we'd never hear the end of it.
Why should the NFL get away with taking in billions of dollars in taxpayer funds and, in effect, campaigning on the field any given Sunday?
They ought not.
Instead of entertaining political arguments, the NFL should stick to what they know best — entertaining their fans.
Correction: A previous version of this article described the NFL as a 501(c)3 organization. The NFL dropped its 501(c)3 status in 2015.
Jennifer Kerns (@JenKernsUSA) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. A GOP communications strategist, she served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party, recalls in Colorado, and California's Prop. 8. Previously, she served as a writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates for Fox News.
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