There is more that must be written concerning this timely subject.
Thus, one shall delve further.
This will primarily concern two factors:
1) The NFL and its non-profit status
2) The subject of former NFL players suffering from career ending injuries, specifically those related to post-concussive syndrome.
If the former were not curious enough, the latter is perhaps even more acutely problematic. Documented in the previous installment, was the fact the NFL has retained, due to heavy political lobbying, non-profit status, since the 1940’s. Recently, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the league will be altering its former non-profit status, while its thirty-two individual teams will remain for-profit.
That Commissioner Goodell, a former attorney, made this decision from a wellspring of conscience is dubious, since the league still enjoys anti-trust status, meaning, it exists as an essential monopoly, serene in the reality no competition will ever spring up to deliver comparable competition.
Does this not run counter to the competitive spirit of the capitalist ‘free market’?
Can one imagine another profitable industry being awarded such a competitive edge in the marketplace?
So much, for so-called ‘free-trade’.
It seems, the only businesses with the luxury of extolling the prevailing philosophy of such virtues, are the ones that can afford to pay for it!
Though the NFL has historically enjoyed non-profit status for over seventy years, MLB enjoyed the same classification until jettisoning that tax status in 2007, while, under the radar of the average sports fan, both the NHL and PGA remain non-profit.
Certainly, by now, one is well past establishing the fact the NFL exerts significant quality control over the delivery of its product. Meaning, that yes, the outcome of certain games, particularly championship contests, are not only manipulated, but routinely predetermined, not only in close collusion with Vegas gaming interests, but chiefly for the purpose of ensuring the highest rated franchises garnering consistent high television ratings, and the most popular players, continue to be regularly featured in prime time television slots.
The NFL is a business, and like any corporation, assiduously works to maintain its bottom line.
Television revenues and advertising dollars serve a significant portion of that bottom line, which can only be maintained profitably with closely guarded quality control over the final delivery of the product presented on the field of play. With regard to the NFL and its non-profit status, the league has historically been allowed to legally double dip into the fans pockets. First, with tax dollars funding the erection of new stadiums, and second, with the enormous windfall from season ticket packages, concessions, and merchandising ventures.
But, an ardent fan may counter, does not the NFL give back to the community with charitable gestures?
From the perspective of mere appearances, the answer would be yes.
On the other hand, simplified to basic economics, for every dollar the NFL collects through charities, it parsimoniously gives back mere pennies.
On a related note, it is important to point out, though the NFL jumped on the Code Pink cancer awareness bandwagon, it merely does so, not out of altruistic concerns, but once again, merely because such a calculated maneuver appears favorable in the way of public relations and overall politics. If one cares to research, there exist several cancer cure patents. Decades ago, the rights to such patents were bought up, and are now kept under the lock and key of pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer.
With that in mind, finding an ultimate ‘cure’ for cancer, would not be profitable for all corporate parties concerned. Showing genuine altruism in this case, would eliminate an entire vast profit generating revenue stream. And that, no responsible corporate CEO could afford to ever entertain, knowing angry shareholders would hastily call for the immediate dispatch of his head delivered on a plate.
Though the NFL continues to appear altruistic in the eyes of the average fan, and to communities across the nation, it does so, no doubt out of a sheer sense of political correctness.
It may also do so out of a sense of corporate quid pro quo.
In helping corporate partners receive more tax dollars in the way of government grants for cancer research, it will surely benefit on the fiscal back end, when those same pharmaceutical companies, like Pfizer, wish to purchase television advertising blocks, in an ongoing effort to publicly peddle side-effect ridden products, coinciding with prime time NFL telecasts. Though NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has chosen to keep critics at bay with his decision to alter the leagues non-profit tax status, he continues to demonstrate intransigence in effectively addressing the issue of post-concussive syndrome. Statistics reveal a shocking number of retired and active players unfortunately plagued.
Per reliable data culled from several sources, the average life span of retired players, due to post-concussive syndrome, is less than 50 years. Though enjoying brief glory on the NFL gridiron, many meet an even quicker demise soon after shedding pads and cleats.
Recently, the NFL did everything it could to disrupt the airing of a PBS ‘Nightline’ expose. Apparently, a transcript of the yet to be aired program was acquired by the league office. The harrowing information therein was enough for Commissioner Goodell to take action in persuading the network to jettison the program.
No doubt, the league exerted considerable pressure in preventing the program and its damaging findings concerning post-concussive syndrome from ever going to air.
If there is one thing NFL Commissioner Goodell’s fiduciary responsibility implies, it is in not only maintaining the bottom line, but working effectively in seeing to it the leagues image remains publicly pristine. After all, like the prevailing philosophy of all corporations, when it comes to the financial health of the bottom line, the welfare of human beings invariably suffers.