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While many headlines regarding the NFL currently look something like this, criticizing the league and its players over domestic abuse cases, the NFL might soon have a whole new issue on its hands. (Via CNN |Sporting News | NBC Sports)
Check out this headline from The Washington Post reading, "Lawmaker to introduce bill to end NFL’s tax-exempt status because of Redskins name"
It's an interesting headline for a lot of reasons. First, it doesn't deal with domestic abuse. Second, why is a corporation that makes an estimated $10 billion annually tax exempt anyway? And lastly, how can a single team affect the tax exempt status of the entire league?
As reported by The Post, Sen. Maria Cantwell, backed by Native American tribal leaders, is pushing the NFL to force Redskins team owner Dan Snyder to change the team's name, calling the franchise "guilty of conduct detrimental" to the sport.
Critics say "Redskins" is undoubtedly a racial slur against Native Americans. And there's a long-running debate over whether the team's name should be changed. Owner Dan Snyder has stood by it, saying the name's staying put.
The debate has entered the political realm before. In 2013, President Obama mentioned that if he was the was owner of a team and the name offended people, he'd change it.
Then, in June of this year, the U.S. Patent Office cancelled the Redskins trademark.
WJLA: "The Patent Office called the Washington Redskins name 'disparaging to Native Americans.'"
But the federal government also grants the NFL a tax exempt status.
The league's been tax exempt since 1944 and is classified as a 501 (c) 6 designation, also known as a"trade organization." Still, the not-for-profit NFL argues it does pay taxes ... kind of.
This is from a 2013 USA Today article on the topic: "The NFL ... notes that while its league office is tax-exempt, its 32 franchises are not. The league's most recent tax form said that it distributed $4.3 billion to clubs, where such money is subject to tax."
Last year, Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn called for an end to tax exemption for the NFL and other leagues.As reported by Bloomberg, he estimated the NHL and NFL could "generate at least $91 million of federal revenue every year."
And Greg Easterbrook, author of the book "The King of Sports", told this to NPR last year: "In general the public subsidizes pro football to the tune of around $1 billion a year."
Which is a sizable amount even on a federal scale. But is revoking tax exempt status the right way to force a name change for Washington? Maybe not.
Many media outlets are downplaying the chances of the bill actually doing much of anything. The progressive blog ThinkProgress writes, "It seems unlikely that the bill will become law any time soon" mentioning "Coburn's bill has gone nowhere."
Still, maybe there's a better chance the bill will get enough support to get the Redskins' name changed. Here's what Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said back in June.
C-SPAN: "Daniel Snyder may be the last person in the world to realize this, but it's just a matter of time until he's forced to do the right thing and change the name."
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker also announced a separate bill Tuesday to scrub the tax exempt status from the NFL, but left the Redskins name out of it. He says he wants to fund domestic violence prevention programs with the money raised.
This video includes images from Getty Images.Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:49:11 -0400
Dozens of people gathered in uptown Tuesday night to address the issue of police brutality.
A year ago, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer was charged with shooting and killing an unarmed man, Jonathan Ferrell.
Community advocates said there needs to be change.
It was a small but passionate group that gathered in uptown Tuesday.
Organized by the NAACP, the message was clear: The group wants what it said is racial-based police violence to come to an end.
“I started to see a pattern across the country of questionable actions by the police,” said Rep. Rodney Moore.
Moore came to talk about his plan to propose a state-wide citizens review board, which he says would empower communities that currently don't have one.
“Citizens would have the authority to look at evidence, subpoena witnesses and make binding decisions over cases they review,” Moore said.
Glow sticks were lit to help remember the life of Ferrell. The 24-year-old was shot 10 times by CMPD officer Randall Kerrick.
TIMELINE: Police detail of events in officer-involved shooting
Kerrick said he fired at Ferrell in self defense but he faces voluntary manslaughter charges.
“It's a fact of life that as a person of color there's just this persistent racism that says we are suspects,” said Bree Newsome with Ignite NC.
Newsome said she wants to be part of the change she wants to see. She spoke at the rally and said while policies and ideas like a statewide citizens review board won't fix the problems, it will give people more power.
“There’s simply no one reviewing the policies, no one answering to the citizens and needs of the community so that is a great place to start,” she said.
Moore said he plans to introduce this bill in the next session.
Read more past stories:
A firefighter was killed and another injured after the fire truck they were in overturned.
It happened in Louisburg around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The Franklin County sheriff said the firefighter who was killed was driving the truck.
They were responding to a call and were about 4 miles from the crash scene.
The cause of the wreck is under investigation.
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