"Billionaire NFL owners (are) sponging enormous amounts of money from taxpayers through crony capitalist schemes."
So reports Jarrett Stepman, editor of The Daily Signal.
Translation: the NFL and its team owners have played, and are playing, American taxpayers, while millionaire players decline to honor the nation's flag and anthem.
Whatever one thinks about some players' recent political statements, taxpayers might fairly be miffed.
"The fact is that a business (the NFL) that raked in $14 billion in revenue in 2016 is heavily subsidized by local, state, and federal money based on dubious claims about stimulating the economy," states Stepman.
In the last two decades, the NFL has used around $7 billion in tax dollars for pet renovation projects, Stepman reports, citing Watchdog.org as his source.
"Another study from the Brookings Institution showed that federal taxpayers have subsidized the construction of 36 stadiums at a cost of over $3.2 billion since 2000," adds Stepman.
The NFL team owners argue that its worth it to taxpayers since their teams generate so much money for local economies.
Stepman adds that "only a handful of NFL and other major league teams use privately-financed venues to host their games."
Stepman cites Michael Sargent of the Heritage Foundation to explain how the NFL works the political system. “Tax-exempt municipal bonds are typically reserved for public-use projects such as bridges, water systems, and other infrastructure,” says Sargent in a Daily Signal article. “Yet because of a loophole in the tax code, private-use stadiums can take advantage of this tax break, and have done so prolifically.”
When it's all said and done, NFL owners regularly reel in major tax breaks and financial incentives from their teams' cities and states, leveraging threats to devoted fans of leaving for greener pastures where the money supposedly will flow.