Stature of NFL as a not for Profit Organization Challenged

The NFL (National Football League) was established in the year 1920 as the American Professional Football Conference. It changed its name to the NFL in 1922. Being one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, it is composed of 32 teams. The NFL considers itself to be a trade association formed and financed by the 32 member teams. This league includes three defined officers. They are the commissioner, the secretary, and the treasurer. The commissioner is the executive officer of the NFL and holds the authority to hire league employees, to negotiate contracts, etc.


Tax Savings as a Nonprofit Organization

The NFL falls under the section 501(c) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. According to this code, the NFL is a nonprofit organization that is exempt from the federal income taxes. It means that the league office is not subjected to income tax mainly because it does not, supposedly, make any profit. Each individual team, however, is subject to tax because they make a profit. There has been a lot of debate over the years over the NFL’s stature as a nonprofit organization. There have been petitions and bills filed against the nonprofit status of this organization.

The status is under question because few popular ventures are as financially successful as the NFL. It reports $10 billion in annual revenue and has a goal to reach $25 billion by 2027. The NFL’s consideration as a “trade association” helps promote its nonprofit status. A trade association mainly engages in things such as helping create industry standards, advance the interests of a given industry, etc.

Along with these, the NFL also creates revenue by creating intellectual property, licensing logos, running the schedule of games, negotiating deals for the televising of games, names for merchandising as well as producing the Super Bowl! Therefore, people all over are wondering exactly why the NFL is listed as a nonprofit organization.

Tax Status Challenged

Due to all the profits, the NFL is facing a very real challenge to its nonprofit status. In fact, Senators Tom Coburn (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) introduced a bill to strip the NFL of its nonprofit status a few months ago. In an interview with CNN, Senator Coburn told them that this was a directed tax cut that was being given to the league office. This means that every American ends up paying more money in tax every year because the NFL receives a tax break by call themselves a nonprofit organization, when in fact, they’re not.

Catholic Charities of New York - sorry NFL - you are not equal or in this class. The NFL needs a reality check!

Catholic Charities of New York – sorry NFL – you are not equal or in this class. The NFL needs a reality check!

This may be a ridiculous statement though. The American economy is much larger than the NFL. The NFL should pay taxes as a general principle but Americans are paying more taxes because of federal government greed, incompetence, and because the federal government is paying too much money for social programs that it should not be. It also does not help America that much when it pays billions of dollars per year to keep troops in Europe when the cold war ended decades ago. The Europeans should invest more in their militaries according to many folks.

The NFL needs to Pay Up!

The status of the NFL as a nonprofit organization needs to change though. It is just like any other company or entity and should contribute to society more than just providing the public with entertainment. The NFL is not a Catholic Church, it is not holy, and it is not a charity. This ship needs to be righted!