Faced with plummeting attendance and TV ratings over its boneheaded unwillingness to require its millionaire players to at least stand during the national anthem, the National Football League brain trust has come up with another beauty: Let's throw millions of dollars at left-wing political causes.
While this may warm hearts in the activist Players Coalition, with which the NFL owners have negotiated the deal, it sends an unmistakable signal to the NFL's fan base: We not only couldn't care less that you're offended by players who disrespect the American flag and for all it stands; we're going to fund groups that want to turn America into a giant version of Venezuela. But, please, come back to our games! We love you!
At the same time, the NFL compensation committee reportedly has signed a five-year contract that could provide up to $200 million in compensation to re-sign Roger Goodell, who has been NFL commissioner since 2006.
That's pretty good money at a time when the league is under fire for too long ignoring brain-damaging concussions, numerous players have been caught beating up wives or girlfriends, and Mr. Goodell has embraced liberal causes that are anathema to much of the fan base.
NFL spokesman Joseph Lockhart said last Monday that there has been no final decision on the seven-year Players Coalition compact, so the agreement may yet be balanced by including some more conservative groups.
As of now, though, according to the Washington Times' Valerie Richardson, the nearly $90 million is going mainly to liberal groups, including some linked to radical billionaire George Soros.
One of them is the Dream Corps, led by former Obama adviser Van Jones, who resigned as the "green jobs czar" after his card-carrying Communist Party past was exposed. Since there are no irredeemables or deplorables on the Left no matter how radical they are, Mr. Jones receives philanthropic largesse and is a political commentator on CNN.
The Dream Corps calls itself a "social justice accelerator." On its Green for All project page, its stated mission seems less environmental and more about Marxist-style redistribution: "Green For All works to build an inclusive green economy by moving $1 trillion dollars [sic] from polluters pockets into low-income communities."
Unbeknown to most fans, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) has, alongside sincere efforts such as sentence reform and opening dialogues with police, been funding left-wing causes, advised by the likes of the uber-Left Center for American Progress.
The conservative group 2ndVote released tax documents in October revealing that the NFLPA donated $5,000 in 2015 to the Center for Community Change Action, which receives money from many leftist philanthropists, including Mr. Soros.
The Center for Community Change's website boasts that it "drives thousands to attend rallies and participate in the immigration reform movement, uplifts the stories of DREAMers and immigrant families, and catalyzes online activism and real-world action for compassionate, humane immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship."
Among the recipients of the group's Community Change Champion Awards 2017, described as "heroes on the front lines of resistance," are Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, radical environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer and Michelle Tremillo, executive director of the Texas Organizing Project.
Texas is at the top of George Soros' list of "red states" that he would like to transform into "blue states" by any means necessary. Converting Texas' 37 electoral votes from red to blue would effectively end the possibility of a conservative ever again being elected president. That's why Mr. Soros' well-funded minions are working so hard to facilitate unlimited immigration while opposing common-sense election integrity laws, such as requiring a photo ID to vote.
Think about that the next time you pay $85 for nosebleed seats or $8 for a hot dog at an NFL game.
The Texas Organizing Project (TOP) is one of the groups that popped up quickly in 2009 after the Project Veritas video sting in which ACORN staff were caught on camera advising how to commit tax fraud.
"Both Tremillo and her TOP cofounder Ginny Goldman, a Long Island native, had worked for ACORN, the progressive national community organization that enjoyed considerable success — registering, for example, half a million minority voters in 2008," wrote Alexander Cockburn last March in a Harper's magazine article, "Texas Is the Future."
In 2011, the radical academic Frances Fox Piven was named a Community Change Champion. It makes perfect sense. Ms. Piven is half of the team that invented the Cloward-Piven Strategy, by which the government's social welfare agencies are deliberately overwhelmed with millions of new clients to cause the system's collapse and replacement with a guaranteed national income. Full-blown socialism, in other words.
ObamaCare, which was designed to fail and thus drag down the private insurance industry to pave the way for a government takeover of healthcare, is a perfect example.
While the progressives are at it, perhaps they could take over the NFL, not just bully it. Community Change folks in the NFL front office could force the league to call frequent penalties on anything smacking of patriotism, capitalism or other traditional American values.
That would be a disservice to still-loyal fans of this great sport and the majority of NFL players who are God-fearing, patriotic Americans who want nothing to do with the protests.
Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union. This column first appeared on The Washington Times' website.
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