Ron Hart: 2 Suggestions to Fix the NFL


Columnist Ron Hart looks at the NFL's problems:

It was only under pressure from its $200-million-a-year sponsor Anheuser-Busch that the NFL attempted to do anything morally righteous. It is a sad day when a booze purveyor has to stake out the moral high ground for you….

Goodell has dictorially tinkered with some rules; he recently decreed that players can no longer celebrate TDs by dunking the football over the goalpost crossbars. That was not smart; if Americans wanted to watch a professional sport with no dunking, we'd watch the WNBA.

His suggestions for putting the NFL in its place? First, "get rid of the NFL's tax-exempt status." Second:

Cut NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's pay from $44 million to $1. If you are running a tax-exempt monopoly, you should not pay yourself $44 million. That's absurd. Goodell did not start a business, grow it, risk his own capital, provide an innovative new product, employ many new workers, pay taxes and compete in the free market. Entrepreneurs, not a marginally talented monopoly executive, should make that kind of money.

Donate Goodell's booty, or give it back to some of the cities the league has shaken down for stadium subsidies. Seventy percent of NFL stadiums are at least partly paid for by local taxpayers, yet all profits go to the NFL. The NFL is crony capitalism at its best, in bed with Congress and local governments. They sleep around.

At least Budweiser, Procter & Gamble (which I think is a company that administers SAT tests and runs casinos) and Nike, the true free-market capitalist, quickly did the right thing. Nike dropped its endorsement deals with Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, thus freeing them to serve on Goodell's NFL committee.

More here.

Hart's website here.