By James Queally, Los Angeles Times
As the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson controversies continue to consume NFL news, a U.S. senator has introduced legislation that would remove the league’s tax-exempt status and redirect that money to benefit victims of domestic violence.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said Tuesday he wants to remove the status enjoyed by 10 professional sports leagues, including the NHL, NFL, and PGA Tour, that allows them to avoid paying taxes on dues collected from participants.
“This legislation will help ensure that victims of domestic violence have the resources they need to break away from abusers and begin rebuilding their lives,” he said in a statement.
The legislation would take effect in 2015 and redirect the taxed funds as an appropriation for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, according to a copy of the bill. Booker is up for re-election in November and has a double-digit lead in polls over his Republican opponent.
It was unclear what support, if any, the bill had, and it marked the second time Tuesday that a sitting legislator threatened to take away the NFL’s tax-exempt status.
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), also claimed she wanted to attack the NFL’s bottom line over its refusal to force the Washington Redskins to change the team’s nickname, which many find offensive to Native Americans, according to a report in The Washington Post.
Booker’s announcement came hours before the Minnesota Vikings decided to bar Peterson from all team activities, reversing course from the one-game suspension they handed down after his indictment on child abuse charges in Texas.
The team had initially decided to deactivate him for just one game but was met with a wave of corporate backlash including the loss of several sponsorships on Tuesday.
Peterson has been accused of striking his 4-year-old son with a switch or tree branch, causing deep cuts and bruises. He faces up to two years in prison if convicted.
Photo: TechCrunch via Flickr
Interested in U.s. politics? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!