February 19, 2014
Commissioner of the National Football League
345 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10154
Dear Mr. Goodell:
The New York Times reports that your compensation package in 2012 was $44.2 million or nearly $25,000 an hour, day after day, week after week! That is an astonishingly avaricious sum for running a non-profit institution overseeing for profit football teams larded with special tax breaks, antitrust exemptions, and playing in football stadiums mostly built with taxpayer money. All this for an industry that espouses monopolistic capitalism and whose bylaws prevent any more teams to be organized, like the community-owned Green Bay Packers.
The strategy behind this prohibition is to accord full flexibility for NFL member teams to extort a variety of corporate welfare subsidies from municipalities, with a veiled threat to move the team to another city if these freebies are not given. Obviously a community owned team, like Green Bay would not be likely to misbehave in this manner. You should lead the way in revoking this bylaw.
Your compensation is vast when compared with those Board of Directors’ ditto pay packages given to the CEOs of companies with far larger annual revenues and global operations. Even your outgoing executive vice president for media was paid the outlandish sum of $26.1 million in one year, according to the Times.
Moreover, the IRS charitable division should examine your compensation in the light of your immense rewards. The purpose of the non-profit designation in the words of one commentator – “to provide a service that can’t be provided by the market” clearly does not apply to your excessively profitable operation, which functions more like a cartel than traditional non-profit.
Your response is welcomed.
Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate and founder of League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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