Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is known for his lightning speed, ferocious defense, and the occasional inspired postgame rant against his rivals. He's also a Stanford graduate, with a reported 3.9 GPA, and has been called "the most interesting man in football."
And yet, it was the plain common sense he displayed in a radio interview with ESPN's John Clayton this past Tuesday that brought Sherman during the NFL's offseason. When Clayton asked Sherman what he would do if he were president, the Pro Bowler replied:
I'd stop spending billions of taxpayer dollars on stadiums and probably get us out of debt and maybe make the billionaires who actually benefit from the stadiums pay for them. That kind of seems like a system that would work for me.
As Deadspin notes, Seahawks owner Paul Allen (#40 on Forbes' list of richest people worldwide) finagled $300 million in public financing to build his home stadium CenturyLink Field. And as ThinkProgress reports, "According to an analysis from the Public/Private Partnerships for Major League Sports Facilities, $12 billion in public funds were used for 51 new sports facilities between 2001 and 2010." Given the report is five and a half years out of date, that $12 billion figure is surely a major undercount.
Regardless, it's great to see a respected high profile player calling out this dumb and destructive system of jock-sniffing politicians handing over taxpayer funds for billionaires' vanity projects.
And watch Reason TV's doc on Hartford's misbegotten minor league baseball stadium fiasco below: