Over the last few days and weeks, the behavior of the NFL athletes who have been protesting during the National Anthem before the games, has caused an uproar across the country.
For many Americans the behavior of these athletes is upsetting because these men are among the most privileged in our society and they have been using an escape many Americans enjoy to broadcast their political messages. Political messages that many Americans disagree with and would rather not have to consider while trying to enjoy a simple game of football.
Americans of various political stripes have indicated that they will no longer be watching the NFL, so long as the political displays continue. In fact, the NFL’s ratings had already been plummeting for the last year or so (since the distractions began), but over the first few weeks of the 2017 season the drop in viewership has been exponentially worse.
Tremendous backlash against the NFL and its players for disrespect of our Country.#StandForOurAnthem🇺🇸
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017
Sadly, the NFL seems to be learning nothing from their own misfortune and now some Republicans are wondering if the time for more drastic action has come.
In recent years the stunningly successful NFL has become increasingly dependent upon the American taxpayer. Some estimates say that the NFL has raked in more than $7 Billion in taxpayer funds over the last 20 years!
The problem is rampant.
One report in Watchdog.org said that over the past two decades, the NFL has raked in about $7 billion of taxpayer money to spend on stadium renovation and building.
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.
And what benefit has the taxpayer seen from their investment? Almost nothing. In fact, it seems that the NFL is actually more of a drain on local economies than it is a boon to those communities. Which is why there is now a movement to end this parasitic relationship.
Alabama Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL) believes the time has come to cut off the NFL from the teat of the U.S. taxpayers, and there are a growing number who agree with him.
There's no reason taxpayers dollars should go to support sports leagues that disrespect our national anthem & flag.🇺🇸https://t.co/mw2vy5js6b
— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) September 27, 2017
Books told Breitbart News that, “I believe we ought to terminate all federal government support of the NFL. That would include the termination of any and all advertising that is done on behalf of the federal government—military and nonmilitary—to the extent we do any. The same thing with any other professional sport that insults our country and our flag and our anthem as the NFL has done.”
Brooks also sent a letter to President Trump urging him to end the Department of Defense’s collaboration with any professional sports league or team that disrespects our flag and/or our anthem. (The entire letter can be seen here.)
In the letter, Congressman Brooks stated, “Federal law about the American flag and national anthem is clear. 4 U.S.C. § 8 states, ‘the flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing’ and adds that ‘no disrespect should be shown to the flag.’ Further, 36 U.S.C. § 301 states, ‘During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart.’ The National Football League (NFL) is disrespecting America’s flag and national anthem. The NFL’s conduct is not only unpatriotic and deplorable, it also conflicts with federal law.”
Brooks continued, “The foregoing considered, we respectfully ask that you withhold all federal taxpayer dollars that directly or indirectly support (via advertisements, marketing contracts, or any other direct or indirect financial patronage) any professional sports team or league that refuses to display proper decorum for America’s flag or national anthem.”
Brooks is right, though even if the NFL wasn’t acting so disgracefully, there would still be no reason for the league to receive taxpayer money. The NFL has been making money hand over fist for decades, and it’s incomprehensible that a struggling middle class has been forced by legislators to waste our tax dollars to line the pockets of these NFL teams, their owners, and their players.
It’s simply astounding and the waste must end now. Not a single taxpayer penny more for the NFL or any other sports league.