March 20, 2006, - 4:42 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Even if you’re not a pro football fan, Paul Tagliabue’s retirement as Commissioner of the National Football League, announced today, is important. Especially if you are a U.S. taxpayer.
Under Tagliabue’s leadership, the NFL was turned into a mega-conglomerate of sponsorships and entertainment. But he did it on the backs of the U.S. taxpayers.
Before Paul Tagliabue, pro football was a game most played half the year, then had to work as insurance salesman the other half. But thanks to you, Mr. Tagliabue, a slick labor lawyer, changed all that.
U.S. taxpayers were and continue to be the constant financiers of newer and bigger stadiums and arenas, not the NFL billionaire owners, allowing them to spend more money on players’ salaries and keeping a lot more for themselves. U.S. taxpayers pay for consistent police protection of players at games around the country, not just on Sunday, but on Monday Night, and Thursday Night, too.
Then, there’s the tax-subsidized Super Bowl. U.S. taxpayers paid for hundreds of federal, state and local police to watch over this year’s Super Bowl, as they do every year. And U.S. taxpayers paid for federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to take the week off from stopping illegal aliens to, instead, take direction from NFL Properties lawyers and protect the poor NFL billionaires from losing a penny of merchandise money.
You, Joe and Josephine taxpayer, working your butts off to put NFL millionaire athletes in gorgeous, state-of-the-art locker rooms, and NFL billionaire owners in fancy luxury suites.
That’s Paul Tagliabue’s legacy in heading the NFL. So, how do you like him now? He started the slippery slope that never ends.
Hopefully, you like paying for Warren Sapp’s vacations and Ricky Williams pot-fests. Because, whether you buy tickets to the game or not, you’re subsidizing both. Thanks, Paul Tagliabue.
Tags: Commissioner, Corporate Welfare Extractor, Debbie Schlussel Even, football, insurance salesman, Joe, Josephine, National Football League, NFL, Paul Tagliabue, Ricky Williams, slick labor lawyer, Super Bowl, United States, Warren Sapp