The NFL: America's Favorite Nonprofit Entity?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo waits for the snap from the center during a game held Dec. 14, 2008. (Ken Durden/Shutterstock)

For a few weeks each fall, the National Football League (NFL) gives fans something to cheer about: From warrior-like heroes to exciting smackdowns, the game can provide a sense of belonging to a team—even if you’re just on the sidelines wearing a jersey.

But the NFL doesn’t just give, they also receive—in some cases millions of dollars in subsidies and tax exemptions from the cities and states in which they operate.

Gregg Easterbrook, contributing editor at The Atlantic, investigates the strange financial operations of the NFL in his new book, “The King of Sports: Football’s Impact on America.”


Gregg Easterbrook

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer


T.J. Raphael


Mythili Rao

Comments [4]

RT from Santa Clara, CA

Easterbrook has cobbled a modest career out of sanctimonious tilting at obvious windmills.

Sep. 23 2013 05:32 PM
RT from Santa Clara, CA

Mr. Easterbrook, in common with many know-nothing journalists, has never understood that NASA is not and never has been an investment in scientific inquiry. NASA does some good science but science is not even a tertiary mission. NASA does not stand for National Aeronautics and Science Administration.

NASA's mission is engineering, which is a very different pursuit. In particular, NASA's mission is the engineering (and the promotion of engineering) of systems for the support of human beings in extreme environments. It has succeeded in this mission remarkably well. The promotion of this kind of engineering has always been the organization's source of funding. If that mission were abandoned, NASA would cease to exist.

Journalists don't know what science is, have no clue whatsoever what engineering is and certainly no understanding of the difference between the two. Journalists generally have excellent facility with language but little other understanding of the world.

Sep. 23 2013 04:19 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Football is a religion in America, it doesn't surprise me that there are many tax exemptions for the owners and that the Public subsidizes the cost of a team.
No football fan is boycotting their Sunday ritual.

Sep. 23 2013 02:16 PM
Guy Gold from Austin, TX

I'm delighted to hear Gregg Easterbrook is still with us. I say that because about the best effort of journalism I've ever seen is when in 1980 he tried to warn the public that The Space Shuttle was a disaster in the making:

We should have listened to what he thought about The Space Shuttle in 1980 and we should listen to what he says about the NFL today.

Sep. 23 2013 12:59 PM

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