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
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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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