Monday, February 10, 2014

Redskins: Change Your Name or We'll Tax You

The Washington Redskins originated as the Boston Braves in 1932. The following year the club moved to Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, whereupon owners changed the team's name to the Boston Redskins. The Redskins relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1937—and for the next 76 years the team was known as the "Washington Redskins".

Recently two lawmakers sent a letter to the NFL Commissioner asking the league to push for a name change to the Washington Redskins because it is a slur to Native Americans.

But only now President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi all said that the team should at least think about changing its name—other than something like the "Blackskins" or "Yellowskins" or "Brownskins". (Maybe if the team relocates from Washington to Texas, they can call themselves the "Texas Rednecks".)

Meanwhile, the NFL has had tax exempt status since 1966 (for the past 48 years). Two other lawmakers have now targeted the Washington Redskins' tax exempt status:

"The National Football League is on the wrong side of history. It is not appropriate for this multibillion dollar 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organization to perpetuate and profit from the continued degradation of tribes and Indian people. It is time for the National Football League to formally support and push for a name change for the Washington football team."

Surprisingly, both of the lawmakers are Republicans (the party of the rich and big corporations). Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah) and Sen. Tom Coburn (Oklahoma) have introduced bills to eliminate the NFL's tax-exempt status; but neither has cited the name of the football team as a reason. (The NFL has called itself "a trade association promoting interests of its 32 member clubs" in tax filings.)

Questions: Why only now—after having a name for 76 years—and having a tax exempt status for 48 years—is this finally being addressed? And why should revoking their tax status be contingent upon changing their name?

And will it take another 48 to 76 years to resolve? This could be changed tomorrow. But Congress always fails to act. They are all talk and little-to-no action, just like they are with everything else that plagues this nation (The Republicans and Democrats always take turns playing the good cop/bad cop routine for the American public, keeping themselves in power while doing very little for the people.)

Regardless of whether or not a football team changes their name, they should have been paying their fair share of taxes for the past 48 years.

No comments:

Post a Comment