Cantwell tells NFL, ‘Keep the name, lose the tax break’

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. introduced legislation to revoke the NFL’s tax exempt status. I’ll just let you read the press release, but one of her comments, “a dictionary-defined racial slur,” struck me. So I checked it out. Turns out, she’s right, as you can see in the picture.


The press release follows:

Cantwell, Reid, Johnson Introduce Bill That Would Revoke NFL’s Tax-Exempt Status

Legislation would end non-profit status for leagues that promote the slur used by Washington, D.C.’s team

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) introduced legislation that would revoke a tax-exemption for the National Football League if it continues to promote the current name of its Washington, D.C. franchise.

The legislation would prohibit tax-exempt status for professional sports leagues that promote use of the specific term used by Washington’s football team. Tribal organizations representing more than 2 million Native Americans and more than 300 Tribes have called on the NFL for a name change.

“It is not right that the National Football League continues to denigrate an entire population,” said Majority Leader Reid. “This is personal for me. As Senator from Nevada, I represent 27 tribes and have worked to protect their homelands and their sovereignty. I wish Roger Goodell and the NFL’s leadership team would take a stand. As the past few weeks have illustrated, the problems within the NFL are far and wide. Today we are taking action and I gladly stand with Senator Cantwell in calling for the end of NFL’s not-for-profit status.”

“American taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize a $9 billion league that promotes a dictionary-defined racial slur,” said Cantwell, a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. “It’s time to end the special tax breaks for the National Football League.”

“Our tax code should not be doling out tax breaks to organizations that perpetuate the use of racist slurs. In my home state of South Dakota, there are nine treaty tribes that each has its own distinct government, culture, and heritage,” said Johnson, a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. “Native Americans have long endured historical traumas, and the name of the Washington football team harkens back to a dark time in our nation’s history. I am proud to join this legislative effort to stop subsidizing a league that is profiting from a degrading, hurtful, and racist term.”

Cantwell and Reid have repeatedly called on the Washington team owner to change the name, and in May, led 50 Senators in calling on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to formally endorse removing the name from one of the league’s marquee franchises.

The NFL receives tax exempt status as a not-for-profit 501 (c) (6) “business league” organization. The legislation is narrowly crafted to prohibit tax-exempt status only for professional sports leagues that promote use of the term used by Washington’s football team. That means it would not affect other sports leagues such as the National Hockey League (NHL) and Professional Golfers Association (PGA), which receive the same 501 (c) (6) exemption.

The National Congress of American Indians, the largest organization representing Native Americans passed a resolution in October in support of a name change. A name change has also been endorsed by United South and Eastern Tribes, and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, and the Navajo Nation.

Other prominent national organizations in support of a name change include the NAACP, National Council of La Raza, American Association of People with Disabilities, the ACLU, National Organization for Women, and the Anti-Defamation League.


8 thoughts on “Cantwell tells NFL, ‘Keep the name, lose the tax break’

  1. Public Policy Polling released a survey Thursday showing that 71 percent of Americans do not want to change the name. 18 percent said they thought the name should be changed, while 11 percent said they weren’t sure. Washington sent a release Thursday night highlighting the fact that “regardless of race, gender, age, or political affiliation, not one subgroup supported changing the team’s name.”

    “This poll, along with the poll taken among Native Americans by the Annenberg Institute, demonstrates continued, widespread and deep opposition to the Redskins changing our name,” the team said in the release, pointing also to a 10-year-old poll by the Annenberg

  2. I submitted those two releases Steve because you seemed only provided liberal organizations and supported by a liberal politician on this issue . This smacks of Fascism at worse , well intentioned government over reach at best .

    The organizations involved have often used slurs also in political debates among opposing sides , including comparisons to the KKK , using religious extremist to identify those supporting issues from life to marriage . Not exactly a conversation setting for a open conversation .

    The tax exemption being looked into is perhaps important , but for all sports including hockey , NNA and such . Not based on bullying and PC liberal view points . There was a good book written years ago by a black man who took issue with Jesse Jackson and the new term African American . He supported the term “colored” and had issue with someone saying that was denigrating anyone . I tend to call people what they wish regardless of their reasons out of respect . The organizations you listed do not share that same history for those they disagree with . Cantwell obviously has no concern for views outside her liberal views .

  3. Mick, the “liberal politician” is our senator. I provided the press release from one of our senators, giving everyone a chance to weigh in, as you and James Olsen have done.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Sun

  4. who is missing this?

    The NFL is a $9 billion industry whose purpose is to entertain us? And it is tax free? A charity?

    It is an industry which needs cleaning up, (painfully obvious to many), but it is still a for-profit industry. Realistically, how many people working for non-profits, or charities, earn THREE-QUARTERS OF A MILLION A WEEK, WORKING OR NOT, SUSPENDED OR NOT?

    The NFL is a nine-Billion dollar industry which produces nothing but entertainment, and more dollars.

    And we wonder where the money is going, and why the nation is almost broke.

    Time, I guess, to go start another war. Maybe some other country’s oil will pay for it. Hey, Scotland is available! Oops, they’re still British. Forget it.

    Oh, well.

    Go Hawks! (Sincerely).

  5. Steve the liberal list of organizations was part of her press release ?

    Is interesting to note the NAACP that is listed as supporting the use of taxes as a cause for the name change uses the term colored in their name sake . Colored is seen as actually being insulting and demeaning to some members off the black community . I just find this strange , especially how you presented this . It obviously has support by the very far left , but the majority of Americans find it quite redundant .

  6. In a relatively unrelated — but related issue — why doesn’t the Sun put up on their video list the recent candidate editorial-board videos. Admittedly not screaming drama, the Sun does conduct the interview and will issue-on-high an endorsement, why does
    Editor Nelson duck lising the videos. Saying they are on the Sun web site it classic “burying in plain sight.” Get those links up or I smell a rat.

  7. Good question, James. David was gone from the office for a week and we didn’t get the available videos posted. They should be up soon.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Sun

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