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 #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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