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Trump Complains About NFL's 'Massive' Tax Breaks, Which The League Voluntarily Gave Up In 2015

Trump Complains About NFL's 'Massive' Tax Breaks, Which The League Voluntarily Gave Up In 2015

President Donald Trump continued his public spat with the NFL on Tuesday morning when he posted a tweet criticizing the NFL for taking advantage of “massive tax breaks” while also disrespecting the American flag by protesting during the national anthem before games.

Unfortunately for Trump, it appears as if the tax breaks to which he is referring is the tax exempt status the NFL voluntarily gave up back in 2015. According to the New York Times, individual NFL teams pay taxes as for-profit organizations. Prior to 2015, the NFL central office had been granted tax-exempt status, but the league already decided to relinquish the exemption two years ago.

Trump seemed to be in a disagreeable mood in the early hours of the morning, posting a series of tweets between 6:13 a.m. and 6:42 a.m. criticizing the NFL over the anthem protests, Democrats over immigration reform and ESPN over TV host Jemele Hill, who was suspended over the weekend for her second violation of ESPN’s social media policy.

Assuming Trump is in fact referring to the NFL’s previously held tax exempt status in his tweet, he seems to be a bit late to the game. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell explained the situation in a memo back in 2015.

“The fact is that the business of the NFL has never been tax-exempt,” Goodell said. “Every dollar of income generated through television rights fees, licensing agreements, sponsorships, ticket sales, and other means is earned by the 32 clubs and is taxable there.”

Even critics of the NFL’s policies at the time, such as Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal, said tax breaks were never the real issue.

“The tax-exempt status produces a pittance compared to its congressionally granted antitrust exemption -- enabling billions in broadcast revenue,” he said.

Related Link: Trump Claims Puerto Rico's Bond Debt Will Be 'Wiped Out,' Here's Who'd Lose Big

Image credit: Emily Elconin

Posted-In: Donald Trump ESPN nfl Roger GoodellNews Politics Sports General Best of Benzinga


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