If the NFL Plays With Fire, It Gets Burned

Tian Yuan
By Tian Yuan
October 2, 2017Opinion
If the NFL Plays With Fire, It Gets Burned
Buffalo Bills players kneel during the American National anthem before an NFL game against the Denver Broncos at New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sept. 24, 2017. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

You might have heard about the Le Behemoth Corporation. The company has been in the news almost every day these days.

Le Behemoth is headquartered at 345 Park Avenue, New York City, a posh Midtown Manhattan skyscraper. The company has 32 regional branch offices in the United States. In 2016, the company raked in 14 billion dollars in revenue. If the company qualified for the Fortune 500 list, it would beat CDW, which is 199.

Le Behemoth is in the entertainment business. It doesn’t manufacture anything; it hasn’t developed one piece of technology since its founding; it doesn’t improve people’s lives in any material way. Some say the shows the company puts on are uplifting and help cultivate team spirit.

But I’m not a fan and will never turn to Le Behemoth for inspiration. In fact, I, like millions of Americans, am a victim of the industry it is in: I’m paying at least 9 dollars per month for the cable channels that I never watch.

Le Behemoth is a true monopoly, guaranteed by the antitrust laws of the United States. People have tried to set up competing enterprises over the years. None succeeded. With no competition, Le Behemoth and its regional branches are flush with cash.

But that doesn’t satisfy Le Behemoth. It constantly wants more. It exacted over 7 billion dollars from the American taxpayers in the past two decades, mainly for building and renovating their privately owned showplaces.

The funds for those showplaces may have been diverted from those meant for public infrastructure projects. Potholes in the public roadways are only small inconveniences; without the buildings, local economies will suffer, Le Behemoth argues.

Le Behemoth used to enjoy special tax-exempt status, too. It was so well connected that there was a special carve-out for it in the Internal Revenue Code. Under intense public pressure, Le Behemoth had to give up the special tax status in 2015.

For its own employees, Le Behemoth is extremely generous. The top executive of the company has received over $212 million in salary since 2006. The company has up to 2,560 “star employees,” which are some of the highest paid workers in the United States. With an average salary of 1.9 million dollars per year, they are ahead of 99.9 percent of people in their age group in the United States. In other words, they are the top 0.1 percenters by income.

One imagines Le Behemoth is forever in debt to the American taxpayers for the financial aid, and the star employees are grateful for the success and prosperity they enjoy.

Only the company seems to have forgotten its debt and the star employees their gratitude. Many of the star employees have been openly protesting the American flag and the national anthem since last month. Le Behemoth supports them and will not discipline those who choose to protest.

The Political NFL

Are you up in arms yet? Le Behemoth is a perfect example of crony capitalism. It has no place in our economy. But Le Behemoth is real. Its name is the National Football League (NFL).

This is the same NFL that forbids its players to commemorate 9/11, to honor slain police officers, or to raise public awareness for domestic violence. But disrespecting the American flag, anthem, and football fans is totally cool with the NFL.

NTD Photo
Kiko Alonso #47 of the Miami Dolphins hits Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers after a pass during a game in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Nov. 27, 2016. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

This is same NFL whose Game Operations Manual unequivocally requires the players to stand for the anthem. Why have the policy on the book when NFL chooses to selectively ignore it?

This is same NFL that received more than 5 million dollars over the years from the Department of Defense to pay tribute to our military. How does protesting the flag and the anthem honor the armed services?

The American mainstream media cheered when NFL players protested. Can the NFL find a true ally in the media? I don’t think so.

Do you know the fable of the monkey and the cat? The clever monkey convinced the cat to scoop roasting chestnuts out of the fire, burning its paws, and then the monkey ate the chestnuts, leaving the cat nothing.

The mainstream media is the monkey, the NFL the cat. The NFL can crash and burn as far as the monkey is concerned. It will simply move onto its next dupe for a pretext to bash Trump. (It has already happened. The media is now focusing on a mayor in Puerto Rico who claims people are dying due to Trump’s inaction.)

The NFL should know its product is a non-essential and replaceable service. I, for one, am not a football fan, and probably never will be.

By disrespecting our flag and the anthem, the NFL has insulted not only its viewers but also the general public. Having thrust itself into politics, the NFL should be stripped of its privileged status and regulated like a political advocacy group.

From The Epoch Times

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NTD.com

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