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The NFL has enjoyed taxpayer subsidies


Dear Editor:
All passed by Congress when new sports stadiums are constructed in local, county, and state locations across the nation; and I’m talking about many billions of dollars at the people’s expense.
Congress has justified these sport stadium tax exemptions and subsidies in that it is a “public, civic event in which the entire community can participate as a community.” Well, under this justification, the team owners and the NFL have become enormously rich. I’m talking enormously rich! The question that now begs to be asked is: how can we the “public community” have that kind of tax-based justification for building stadiums on our dime when these organizations of teams under the NFL guidelines and head, strike at the most basic “civic” ritual which is “standing up” for the National Anthem?
A National Anthem is a national anthem, or it can be an opportunity for self expression, but it cannot be both. For almost 300 years the flag has been a symbol of freedom, not a symbol of oppression.
Dear Congress, it has become a revolting subversion by these enormously rich people of influence and privilege at the people’s expense — and we’re not buying it anymore. The NFL and all the franchises are a Big Business, but like any business that would condone and sponsor an anti-American activity such as “taking the knee” during the National Anthem, the consumer will not take this “sitting down” — this is where “We the People” draw the line — because “watching the game” is no longer the “product” we bargained for in the market of sports and entertainment; so, we are opting out–just as any other product we reject that goes against its brand name promise.
Finally, as I follow the argument of “Free Speech” in our nation and how it has now entered the arena of Sports & Entertainment, what is glaringly apparent is the number of U.S. public and private colleges that have become increasingly hostile to free speech. Many speakers have been boycotted, protested and violently ran off of campuses across the nation. Student activists yell and scream that certain speakers do not deserve a platform to share their “disgusting” ideas. But at the same time there is an open license and free reign for “professional” football players, the owners, and the NFL heads to condone, support, and sponsor, with no objection but to exhibit their “Free Speech” at the expense of the sport, the fans, and the American National Anthem and the Flag.
My request is for Congress to either stop the tax exemptions and subsidies to the NFL or provide a justifiable rebate of ticket prices to the very tax paying public who fill the pockets of the NFL and the owners. As far as stopping “Taking the Knee,” I believe the Free Market will adjust for “product feasibility,” “Supply & Demand,” and good old fashioned respect for the flag when we decide to buy a product — any product – and that includes “Sports and Entertainment.

Thank You,
John Amato

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