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California corruption case entangles unnammed NFL owner

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The list of NFL owners who are receiving the benefit of a double standard when it comes to discipline could be getting longer.

According to the Associated Press, a new indictment against California Senator Leland Yee accuses him of offering him to help pass league-friendly workers’ compensation legislation “in exchange for campaign contributions from an unidentified NFL owner.”

It’s unclear whether the unidentified NFL owner actually offered contributions in exchange for Yee’s support of the bill of whether the unidentified NFL owner was ever approached about the possible quid pro quo arrangement.

Either way, there’s a lot more to this story.  And if the authorities ever believe they can provide that the unidentified owner broke any federal laws, someone may be forking over a $92 million fine to avoid prosecution and the inevitable NFL suspension that goes along with it.

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75 Responses to “California corruption case entangles unnammed NFL owner”
  1. jimmysee says: Jul 26, 2014 12:38 PM

    Well, we know it’s not the Packers owner.

  2. norcalmafia says: Jul 26, 2014 12:40 PM

    Ruh-roh………well you can pretty much break this down to three teams…

  3. ajgreenhof says: Jul 26, 2014 12:44 PM

    That picture gives me the creeps.

  4. bpjensen says: Jul 26, 2014 12:47 PM

    Let’s see, to take the risk of essentially bribing a Senator you would hope there are fair amount of dollars at stake, so I will put my money on the owners of either the 49ers, Raiders, or Chargers.

  5. bonnovi says: Jul 26, 2014 12:48 PM

    Maybe if we’re lucky it will be Robert Kraft.

  6. leagueobservr says: Jul 26, 2014 12:48 PM

    Wow. I’ve read a lot elsewhere about Senator Yee. As a politician he is a real piece of work…

  7. marty2020 says: Jul 26, 2014 12:52 PM

    I don’t understand. Isn’t this the normal legal corruption that characterizes our political system? If this is illegal, they can throw every politician in the country in jail.

  8. GenXJay says: Jul 26, 2014 12:53 PM

    wait a minute here, i thought the NFL was a non-profit organization?

  9. beavertonsteve says: Jul 26, 2014 12:59 PM

    The NFL is. Teams aren’t.

  10. blackcatsluck says: Jul 26, 2014 1:02 PM

    Yee is California Senate District 8. That’s the San Fran area.

  11. justintuckrule says: Jul 26, 2014 1:20 PM

    Just because it’s a California senator doesn’t necessarily mean the bribe came from a CA team. A “nay” vote from yee is just as valuable to a non-ca team that don’t want to pay fair workers comp. I hope it’s irsay again. It would benefit all true football fans to see herr goodell’s back against the wall.

  12. natelan says: Jul 26, 2014 1:24 PM

    As a Chargers fan… I hope it’s the Spanos family. They hate Chargers fans, and we hate them just the same.

  13. therealbillybuffalo says: Jul 26, 2014 1:26 PM

    All Davis.

  14. patriotsarespygaters says: Jul 26, 2014 1:28 PM

    Robert kraft ???

  15. dickshotdogs says: Jul 26, 2014 1:31 PM

    You only WISH Robert Kraft were your owner.

  16. handsofsteelhartofstone says: Jul 26, 2014 1:31 PM

    Arthur Blank.

  17. buffaloisadumpsterandtheirfansaremorons says: Jul 26, 2014 1:41 PM

    bonnovi says:
    Jul 26, 2014 12:48 PM
    Maybe if we’re lucky it will be Robert Kraft.

    Yeah right, Goodell will just brush whatever it is under the rug if it’s Kraft. Him and his criminal and cheating organization is untouchable in the NFL’s eyes.

  18. beavertonsteve says: Jul 26, 2014 1:44 PM

    We can rule out the Niners. DeBartolo family members would never engage in this type of behavior….

  19. billsfan1 says: Jul 26, 2014 1:44 PM

    Maybe it’s Jon Bon Jovi

  20. omgiliveinaflyoverstate says: Jul 26, 2014 1:46 PM

    Looks like a Stan Kroenke suit, lucky we cant see the crappy haircut to go with it. WHO DAT!

  21. chunkderrrty says: Jul 26, 2014 1:51 PM

    Well which team is from the san francisco area? And if its giving money to yee it must be because it wanted something in return like say a brand new top of the line stadium. Comon sense says its the 49ers.

  22. nickinneohio says: Jul 26, 2014 1:54 PM

    $92 Million? I know a Haslam slam when I see one.

  23. motherstrucker says: Jul 26, 2014 1:59 PM

    who’s ALL DAVIS? smh

  24. don2074978 says: Jul 26, 2014 2:07 PM

    The possibility exists it could be a DECEASED Californian NFL owner also

  25. oldcracker says: Jul 26, 2014 2:07 PM

    Corrupt elected officials??? Say it ain’t so.

  26. cags777 says: Jul 26, 2014 2:11 PM

    The Davis family may be a bit far-sighted. But I’m not even sure they’re clever enough to pull off a bribe with a state senator.

  27. ghost26 says: Jul 26, 2014 2:11 PM

    Hmm…League-friendly workers’ compensation legislation. Since there was just an issue w/ this in New Orleans my guess is Tom Benson.

  28. slick50ks says: Jul 26, 2014 2:12 PM

    Mark Davis, come on down with your goofy looking self.

  29. isaidjoemontegna says: Jul 26, 2014 2:14 PM

    chunkderrrty says:
    Jul 26, 2014 1:51 PM
    Well which team is from the san francisco area? And if its giving money to yee it must be because it wanted something in return like say a brand new top of the line stadium. Comon sense says its the 49ers.


    Could be. But remember that Oakland is just a few miles from SF and they reaaaaally need a new stadium.

  30. somethinsbruin says: Jul 26, 2014 2:28 PM

    I think the league files all their workers comp cases in front of a Californian judge.. Could be any owner. Except Green Bay of course.

  31. corvusrex96 says: Jul 26, 2014 2:37 PM

    My guess is the SF Niners , the Raiders owners seem more likely to arrange an “accident” for politicians who don’t vote their way.

  32. harrisonhits2 says: Jul 26, 2014 2:37 PM

    Kraft is the only NFL owner to finance his own stadium with no public money. He’s one of the singular best owners in all of sports.

  33. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 26, 2014 2:40 PM

    A recent NFL owner was fined $92 million, and that owner is Jimmy Haslem.

  34. scw1993 says: Jul 26, 2014 2:43 PM

    Probably woody johnson….especially if has to do with “passing”

  35. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 26, 2014 2:44 PM

    Pilot Flying J has locations in CA. Theres one in Sacramento. Find it curious that the owner is unnamed for now.

  36. kilo0986 says: Jul 26, 2014 2:45 PM

    I thought this was what you called a “lobbyists”?

  37. niner13 says: Jul 26, 2014 2:46 PM

    You’re onto something. The FBI sting that stung Leland Yee went on for several years, probably even while “Just win, Baby” was still around.

  38. selldannysell says: Jul 26, 2014 3:03 PM

    Please let it be Dan Snyder!

  39. bullcharger says: Jul 26, 2014 3:09 PM

    It looks more like the owner turned Yee in after receiving the offer.

  40. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 26, 2014 3:18 PM

    Of course the unnamed NFL owner will deny it was a bribe or he tried to influence the Senator. The Senator will deny it too. The NFL won’t punish the owner and the legal system will give the Senator a free pass due to “not enough evidence” or an “uncooperative witness”

    The amount of justice you get is the direct result of how much money you have and who you pay off

  41. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Jul 26, 2014 3:22 PM

    My boss at work receives the benefit of a double standard too. This is not something that’s unique to the NFL. I don’t know why that surprises certain people so much. It pays to be the boss.

  42. jvibottomline says: Jul 26, 2014 3:24 PM

    Magic Johnson or Donald Sterling

  43. The Pittsburgh Steelers: God's Team says: Jul 26, 2014 3:24 PM


  44. footballfan14 says: Jul 26, 2014 3:27 PM

    It’s the 49ers or the Raiders for sure. Yee is in the San Fran area, as someone else pointed out, and the Chargers are not the type of people to do something like that. Definitely has to be 49ers or Raiders.

  45. Dogsweat says: Jul 26, 2014 3:27 PM

    Colin “Jesus” Kaepernick would never play for a team that sins, he is to perfect.

  46. goldrush36 says: Jul 26, 2014 3:33 PM

    Umm ALL teams have to pay CA workers comp. To just assume its one of the 3 CA teams is quite ignorant.

  47. evilglazers666 says: Jul 26, 2014 3:39 PM

    Couldn’t be the Glazers. They are so honest and trustworthy.

  48. loveithateit says: Jul 26, 2014 3:42 PM

    It’s not a California team. Under the law they are they only ones who CAN make a claim. The bribe is to prevent a road team from having to payout on a claim if the injury occurred in Cali.

  49. bassplucker says: Jul 26, 2014 3:58 PM

    PLEASE let it be Jerrah, Danny Snyder, or the goofball that’s running the Raiders. The league will be a better place when those clowns are out of the picture.

  50. johnnyjagfan says: Jul 26, 2014 4:45 PM

    NFL is a target. Anybody that is trying to pass legislation contributes to supporters.

  51. kwjsb says: Jul 26, 2014 5:19 PM

    St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke would be my choice since he purchase enough property in L.A. to build a stadium ………… He may be getting a little of the Modell treatment from politicians.

  52. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 26, 2014 5:57 PM

    Hopefully it is Kraft… IMO, the least ethical owner in the league…. but very much protected by Goodell

    Like they got Capone for tax evasion, let’s hope they get Kraft here…

  53. uglydingo says: Jul 26, 2014 6:01 PM

    Where is Roger Goodell protecting the Shield, on this. If there is an allegation of attempted bribery and corruption by an NFL team owner, then the Commissioner should be seeking full details because behavior like this does tarnish the Shield.
    Or maybe Roger was too busy diligently setting a light suspension for Ray Rice.

  54. FinFan68 says: Jul 26, 2014 6:23 PM

    OK, let’s try this one more time. There is a difference between a double standard and a different standard. A double standard can only occur between equals. (player to player, owner to owner, team to team) Players and owners are not equals in status. Owners are held to a different standard than players, just like players are held to a different standard than the team’s IT section.

    Please stop stating that Irsay is benefiting from a double standard when you know darn well that it is not true. If he is treated differently than another owner that has done the same things–then you would have a double standard.

  55. morr24 says: Jul 26, 2014 7:05 PM

    This is not a double standard. It is a justifiably different standard. The player standard was negotiated by the player’s union representative and agreed to by the players. The owners are subject to whatever rules they agreed to when becoming the owner of an NFL team.

    As it relates to the specifics of this ” report” of another report: it is unbelievable that an owner would be so stupid as to personally offer a quid pro quo when all they need to do is make their goals known, ask the senator’s views, and then depending on those views make a campaign donation. The latter is legal. The former, if proved, could be illegal.

    In fact, It actually strains credulity that an owner would personally do either.

  56. NCAA Injustice says: Jul 26, 2014 7:39 PM

    It is absolutely not a CA-based team. The worker’s comp legislation that recently passed helps non-CA teams who were previously getting hit with CA worker’s comp claims based on playing one game in Cali. It doesn’t benefit the Raiders, 9ers, or Chargers, who are all still subject to CA worker’s comp claims.

  57. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 26, 2014 7:43 PM


    I was duped work once again

  58. getyourownname says: Jul 26, 2014 8:43 PM

    Um …. making contributions to politicians so they will support your legislative objectives is standard fare, in Congress (just ask Harry Reid) and especially in state legislatures. And it’s not inherently illegal. Scuzzy, but not necessarily illegal.

  59. eaglesnoles05 says: Jul 26, 2014 8:58 PM

    Oh no! Not the unnaMMed NFL owner! Heavens to Betsy!

  60. eaglesnoles05 says: Jul 26, 2014 9:04 PM

    Oooooh not so fast on the SF SD Oak short list! Doesn’t Jerrah take his cowpokes out there for training camp EVERY year? Sounds like minimum contacts for something…

  61. defscottyb says: Jul 26, 2014 9:39 PM

    1849ers… who forcibly removed and murdered 100K Native Americans during the Gold Rush and put Native American women and children into Gold digging slavery plus raped them. All facts…

  62. crabbies2013 says: Jul 26, 2014 9:46 PM

    Party affiliation not indicated, thus he’s a democrat. Rooney is the guy.

  63. coachglove says: Jul 26, 2014 9:48 PM

    I’d say the odds are:

    SF 1.5:1
    SD 3:1
    OAK 25:1
    The rest 32:1

    Those not from the bay area don’t understand that SF politicians (those that represent areas on that side of the bay and peninsula) trip over themselves to be seen with 49ers affiliated folks. Yee was a 49er fan.

    Someone above suggested the league files their worker’s comp claims in CA by choice. That statement is ridiculous. 1) The league employs people in NYC (that’s where the league offices are); 2) The teams are bound to the worker’s comp laws in the state where they are headquartered for non-football employees.

    For players, they can file in any state they want and many have chosen CA. It would make sense that the NFL would want to change the law allowing that….however if they wanted a point person to run that you’d likely go to the owner with the closest ties who would draw the least attention by meeting with Yee. That is York.

    The only other option that makes sense is an NFL owner who has SUBSTANTIAL business interests in the state of CA. A few Flying J stations doesn’t fit that bill. The bribe would cost more than an injury payout. The Davis family doesn’t do much outside of football. The Spanos family has MASSIVE business interests in CA with their real estate and other businesses. The York family doesn’t do much in CA. They have a large business in Ohio, but the physical proximity of York to Yee rates the favorite status whether he was representing only the 49ers or the entire NFL. The Spanos family has substantial holdings in Sacramento and could easily have been meeting with Yee during the half of the year Yee spent in Sacramento.

  64. campcouch says: Jul 26, 2014 9:57 PM

    This is headline worthy,not Manziel’s choice of bourbon. But stuff like this goes beyond dealing with the local cops or any punishment the league can dole out,this affects regular people. Influence peddling has been around since society started,but the idea that sports owners want to do this is unnerving. They need to get more facts out and not speculate.

  65. SkeletalDrawing says: Jul 26, 2014 10:44 PM

    justintuckrule says:
    Jul 26, 2014 1:20 PM
    Just because it’s a California senator doesn’t necessarily mean the bribe came from a CA team. A “nay” vote from yee is just as valuable to a non-ca team that don’t want to pay fair workers comp.


    That would be a state senator that would be voting on a CA state law. Pretty sure it’s going to be a CA team.

  66. jbloggs13 says: Jul 26, 2014 10:50 PM

    An NFL owner engaged in criminal activities and buying politicians. We should be in shock. How do you think the NFL and its teams get off paying taxes, dumping health costs on the public, buy off the CDC and NIH to fake science, and use the federal court to cram bad deals down the retirees throats.

    Let’s not forget Doormat De Smith. He does not have a comment since he made so noise to try to appear as if he was a labor leader. He will then back peddle and some how blame on the players. You know he is big democrat and Eric Holder’s best friend forever. He just seems to lose every battle with the NFL and owners. What the owners did not have enough confidence in him and felt they had to buy some pols. De is really slipping. He always delivers for the owners.

  67. akboot says: Jul 26, 2014 11:26 PM

    49ers named Gideon Yu, president and co-owner in 2012. LOL, Yu and Yee, um, slight possibility of a connection here.
    I confess, I googled 49ers owner and made this connection.

  68. norcalmafia says: Jul 26, 2014 11:49 PM

    Funny..Seattle refers to themselves as the West Coast…except nobody else does…quit trying to get fame off California you lame Canadians

  69. defscottyb says: Jul 27, 2014 12:37 AM

    Is that the unknown comic from the Gong Show/Make me Laugh?

  70. voiceofreasonsays says: Jul 27, 2014 5:24 AM

    Jim Isray!

  71. olcap says: Jul 27, 2014 7:03 AM

    So this basically confirms that the mob is not only involved in sports but also in our government.

    I don’t think this was a secret.

  72. lawyermalloy says: Jul 27, 2014 7:30 AM

    It should be pretty easy to figure out.
    Which team got hit the hardest by California Workman’s Comp. claims?
    The Comp. Law in California allows liberal compensation payments regardless of what team you play for as long as you can trace ANY part of the injury to when you played a game in California.

  73. craigkintexas says: Jul 27, 2014 8:50 AM

    It’ll be a democrat for sure.

  74. bigjim50010 says: Jul 27, 2014 9:22 AM

    It is a picture of a Wilf. I think that was their sly way of not naming names.

  75. dejadoh says: Jul 27, 2014 9:24 AM

    Yee haw is a real politician with clout in the State Democratic Party. He’s connected to everyone, from the former Speaker of the House Pelosi to Senators Feinstein and Boxer. But he’s corruptable from both sides of the aisle as there is only one Party here in California. He’s the ultimate dirtbag. Look at the public records of the major players in state and who is contributing. This would also seem to pit the NFLPA against Yee and the Dems but I guess they all share the same bed.

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