Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
An Army recruit starts off with a salary under $20,000. Thousands of active duty military personnel are on food stamps. Millions of veterans rely on them to feed their families and themselves.
That’s how we treat the best of us. Here’s how we treat the worst of us.
An NFL rookie’s minimum salary is $465,000. And the majority of NFL players are usually bankrupt a few years after retirement because they blew through most of their money. Dozens of NFL players are arrested every year on charges ranging from murder to rape to animal abuse.
2017 was a banner year for the NFL with three times as many arrests as last year.
Along with the usual drunk driving and disorderly conduct arrests, there were 7 arrests for assault/battery, 6 for drugs and 5 for domestic violence.
The Seattle Seahawks announced that they weren’t going to “participate in the national anthem” because of the “injustice that has plagued people of color in this country”. While they lost that game, they are one of the top ranked teams in arrests. Alongside the Los Angeles Rams, the Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets, all of whom showed some solidarity with the anti-American protests, these top NFL criminal teams have racked up arrests for domestic violence, drugs, DUI and assault and battery.
It’s no wonder that so many of the NFL’s millionaire scumbags are eager to join Colin Kaepernick’s protests against the justice system by degrading our anthem.
It’s because they’re criminals.
And it’s no wonder that the NFL stands behind its thugs. If a team can shrug at abusing women, what’s a little anti-American tantrum by a prize property that makes them millions of dollars?
The only question is why are the rest of us subsidizing it?
NFL teams loot millions from taxpayers to fund their stadiums. The Seahawks have a point about injustice. And the injustice is that taxpayers had to spend $390 million on their stadium.
Who will let Washington taxpayers take a knee and opt out of being exploited by the Seahawks?
Ten New Orleans Saints players sat out the anthem. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton expressed pride in the players who rejected the United States of America. The Saints not only enjoy a stadium paid for by a billion in taxpayer money in a city with one of the highest poverty rates in the country, but are exempt from sales tax. And receive millions every year in “inducement payments” to stay put.
Sweetheart deals like these are not uncommon. The NFL comes with a pass on property taxes (those are for little people) and taxes in general. Until 2015, the NFL was a non-profit. "Professional football leagues" was actually inserted into the Internal Revenue Code to provide a special non-profit status. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell got paid $44 million in one year. That made him the highest paid non-profit exec in the country.
The entire NFL is an illegal trust. It’s a monopoly that was illegally legalized by Congress.
That monopoly allows the NFL and its teams to cash in on television licensing and team gear. After the NFL uses its illegal monopoly to rip off broadcasters, ESPN rips off cable subscribers.
ESPN pays the NFL almost $2 billion a year. Even if you don’t watch ESPN, you’re paying $9 a month for it because of yet another illegal monopoly. If you subscribe to cable or live in a major city, the odds are good that your pocket is being picked by the millionaire racists “taking a knee” against America.
But the monopolies are dying.
ESPN is bleeding subscribers. The NFL’s anti-American turn is alienating fans. And cable is collapsing.
The NFL is built on government taking money from people and giving it to the industry. Its leftward tilt isn’t an accident. It’s a calculated move. Who are the folks most likely to bail out an industry? They’re on the left. Not the right. If your monopoly is dying, it’s time to go left and hate America.
Anthem bashing is popular with the left. And it’s very popular with the social justice bloggers who increasingly dominate sports journalism, and not just on ESPN. Hating America will score points with the left. It’ll buy the NFL more protectionism from the media and the 2020 Democrats.
The only question is why do we need the NFL?
Once upon a time there was a football free market. Multiple leagues competed with each other. And the NFL was just one of many. The NFL-AFL merger created a monster monopoly that has worked to crush any independent league through its control over broadcasting and venues.
That's what happened with the United States Football League which won an anti-trust court case against the NFL, but was forced under anyway.
The man at the center of the fight against the NFL was New Jersey Generals owner Donald Trump.
The illegal monopoly that created the NFL was the work of Senator Russell Long, the son of radical criminal Dem kingpin Huey Long, who illegally took over his father’s Senate seat (previously held by his mother) and spent almost four decades in the Senate with no qualification except his last name.
The NFL got a monopoly in exchange for New Orleans getting a franchise.
Congressman Hale Boggs, the corrupt Louisiana Dem boss who went to war with the FBI, got it through in the House by appealing, “The Republicans are out to get me. I need this to save me."
And Boggs held things up until he got assurances from the NFL commissioner that the franchise was in.
That’s the corrupt Democrat deal that created the NFL monopoly. Of course the NFL thinks the justice system is unfair. It was created by a crime and it’s full of criminals.
Before the anthem protests, the NFL was just one of the corrupt legacies of Democrat rule. It’s a reminder of the fact that social justice politics, whether it’s Obama’s “You Didn’t Build That” or Huey Long’s “Share Our Wealth”, is nothing more than organized thievery from the working class.
But the NFL is no longer just a corrupt monopoly. Instead it’s becoming a radical anti-American organization that uses its taxpayer-subsidized stadiums and monopoly broadcasting rights to spread hatred toward this country and disrespect to the soldiers who fought and died for it.
America could have tolerated the NFL’s corrupt thievery. But there’s no way Americans should be subsidizing this diseased leftover of Democrat corruption when it spews hate at the United States.
It’s time for the NFL’s anti-trust exemption to go the way of Ma Bell.
Break up the corrupt Democrat monopoly of the NFL and demolish the barriers to the formation of independent leagues by taking on the NFL, ESPN and its broadcasting partners in crime.
It’s time for the NFL to take a knee and for the free market to rise.
Football must become an American sport again.
(Correction: A previous version of this article unintentionally conflated Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall with another football player of the same name)