D.C. Congresswoman files bill to strip NFL of antitrust protection

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Taking advantage of the publicity associated with the dawn of a a new NFL season, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has introduced a bill to strip the league of its federal antitrust protection as long as they sanction Washington’s nickname, which many consider racist.

“The National Football League, a multi-billion dollar industry, and the Washington football team should not be benefitting financially from federal antitrust exemptions while they continue to promote a disparaging moniker that has been found by legal authorities to be a racial slur,” Norton, a Democrat from the District of Columbia said. “The name of the nation’s capital, Washington, should always be associated with pride, not with a moniker that mocks and insults Native Americans.

“Changing the name is not a question of if, but when. The sooner Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league’s 29 other team owners get on the right side of the law and of history and use their leadership, the sooner Washington’s football team will cease being an embarrassment to the league and to the country.”

Threatening the league’s antitrust exemption is a powerful political tool, and the league won’t give it up easily. But ti could also be used as leverage toward some other means. Norton’s own press release cites another bill she introduced last year as pressuring the league to give up its tax-exempt status.

It will be interesting to see how the league responds, after giving up the blackout rule protection recently as well.

Snyder has dug in his heels on the issue, resisting every external pressure thus far. We may soon see whether Congressional pressure in his back yard changes that.

159 responses to “D.C. Congresswoman files bill to strip NFL of antitrust protection

  1. “Changing the name is not a question of if, but when. The sooner Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league’s 29 other team owners get on the right side of the law….”

    What about the other two teams in the league? Obviously this woman is way over her head.. doesn’t even know how many teams are in the league… Unless, like most people they don’t acknowledge the Browns and the Jaguars as real NFL teams.

  2. Any organization that can makes FIFA look respectable in comparison deserves similar FBI scrutiny…and New England politicians should make it their mission to peel back the layers of this rancid onion.

  3. Maybe they should change the name for the sake of starting fresh. They scream mediocrity. Look what happened when the Browns became the Ravens

  4. We are the most popular team in Sports. If you aren’t talking about our on the field victories, you have to talk about anything Redskins related off the field. Winning off the field indeed. Thank God I’m a Redskin fan! 12-4 NFC East Champions. #HTTR

  5. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has also introduced legislation in past congresses that would require ALL leagues to engage in fair practices – including player conduct

    Congress would have oversight and if the NFL were found to be NOT being fair in Player Conduct Policy, they’d lose their Anti-Trust exemption

    I favor the Senator’s approach – I’d prefer to have a major carrot to force Roger Goodell and the Owners to be fair. Judge Berman and before him, Judge Jones, made clear that Roger Goodell was ANYTHING BUT FAIR

    They openly framed and slandered Brady in what even ESPN reports was a “make good” from the past because certain Owners were pulling Goodell’s strings

    The Owners also need to follow their OWN bylaws and Constitution and do as they promised – hire a Commissioner with “unquestioned integrity” – and that is NOT Roger Goodell or anyone in his office

  6. The Red Mesa Redskins disagree with the idea that the name “mocks and insults” Native Americans. But, don’t let facts get in the way of an emotional, populist argument.

  7. PC Liberalism is a disease upon this once great nation. Fix the real issues in the country first Mrs. Congresswoman before you start worrying about this secondary fluff stuff.

  8. “The name of the nation’s capital, Washington, should always be associated with pride,….”

    Yes, it should. But instead we get lying politicians with egos the size of football stadiums and the moral fiber of a mosquito.

  9. If having politically correct team names is not a criteria for awarding an antitrust exemption then it should not be a criteria for removing one.

  10. “The name of the nation’s capital, Washington, should always be associated with pride, not with a moniker that mocks and insults ” Like “Congress”?
    “Politicians” “Liberals” “Repulicans”?

  11. So let me get this straight:

    The NFL is an affront to free enterprise and the American Way and must have this egregious anti-trust exemption revoked , unless Norton gets what she wants, and then its okay!

  12. Norton is a member of the minority party and doesn’t even get to vote on legislation. It’s hard to think of something more meaningless. If the NFL loses its anti-trust exemption it will be because the majority leaders in each house support that, not due to grandstanding by a delegate.

  13. I hate the political class that runs this country. All parties. Unseemly, grandstanding clowns. Congresswoman Norton should focus on the inner city violence in DC, which is absolutely off the hook – that’s a bigger problem than this teams name. You couldn’t get those clowns to focus on the important things like immigration issues or unemployment if you tied it to a brick and hit them with it. Which, actually would be a great thing to do.

  14. The Washington team’s racist name WILL be changed, and probably sooner than later. Put enough political and financial pressure on Snyder and he’ll cave. It looks like that just may be starting to happen soon.

  15. This is just grandstanding on her part. She will lose. The NFL will simply out spend her with her fellow congressmen. How about she worry about real problems in the U.S. like income inequality, Isis, jobs still leaving overseas, poverty, how America is viewed overseas, etc. instead of worrying about the 3 white people that are offended by the name Redskins.

  16. Yep our government has nothing better to do than worry about a sports team name. And they wonder why their approval ratings hover around 15%.

    So if they get their team name change who is next that has an offensive nickname or logo? and how many people need to be offended to have another name changed? I say just refer to all sports teams by the city they reside in not by any nicknames or logos we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

  17. D.C. is a federal district, it does not have real Congresspeople. She is a delegate. She can’t even vote on her own bill.

  18. How about the people themselves ratify a Constitutional Amendment returning Congress to what it once was instead of a career? Remove their pay and see how many of those serving would seek office. The only reason Congress was ever paid originally was as a stipend to cover the costs of having someone else handle your work while Congress was in session.
    They need to get out of the business of political correctness enforcement and back into the business of actually NOT running this country into the ground.

  19. Any organization that can makes FIFA look respectable in comparison deserves similar FBI scrutiny…and New England politicians should make it their mission to peel back the layers of this rancid onion.

    ————————————————–

    NFL owners making billions, NFL players making millions. FIFA directives, making billions, players in poor countries making dimes, do you see the difference? You think that because the NFL punished Brady for cheating now is a corrupt organization similar to FIFA?

  20. It’s the liberal democrat way; if you don’t like something, don’t worry about the law, and what the nflpa signed onto no, she doesn’t like it so she will get it changed. Never fails.

  21. My goodness. I am sick and tired of Judges and politicians sticking their nose in NFL Business. I watch football to get a break from the news about those idiots. politicians want to taxx my paycheck, want to force health care on me and now they are invading the sport I love to watch. Everything a politician touches turns to …. please stay away.

  22. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is a racist…has been for most of her life. She’s also a (at best) borderline misandrist. Who votes for such people?!

  23. I wish someone else in Congress would have stood up and said, “29 teams? You don’t know what the **** you’re talking about! Sit down, and shut the **** up!”

  24. Dosen’t she have more important things to worry about? We’re 18 trillion in debt, just handed Iran a 100 billion to blow Israel off the face of the map, ISIS is getting stronger everyday and she is worried about the NFL???

    Trump is right… 99% of those in DC are just stupid.

  25. While agree with stripping the league of the Anti-Trust exemption. Using the Redskins thing as the underlining premise for why we should is pretty stupid. The NFL doesn’t need the Anti-Trust Exemption and is the only major sports league still holding on to it.

    Oh yeah and DC’s Congresswoman doesn’t get a vote in Congress it’s a courtesy extended the District. Right or wrong that’s the way it is.

  26. She is the congresswoman from DC? I figured the name was popular with the hometown crowd.

    Either the fans in DC don’t like the name either, or she is opening herself to disapproval from the people who sent her to Congress. If she feels that strong about it, and is willing to take the hit, I almost admire her stance.

  27. Well… Goodell is one team. There’s 29 other teams, and there’s the washington team.

    Obviously she gets it.

    — seconds after posting this .. I’m going to put it out there as the stupidest thing I’ve ever said.

    *sigh*

  28. The name doesn’t embarrass me, the poor excuse for politicians embarrass me.I’m not a skins fan but people need to look no further than the confederate flag to see what the outcome would be. It wont stop with the redskins if they give in.. every team in the NFL should be worried.

  29. yawn….get back to me when actual Native Americans are offended (91% in the Bureau of Indian Affairs poll said they were NOT) and not sniveling white liberals acting “faux-offended” on their behalf. I’m not even a Redskins fan but in this case I will yell Hail to the Redskins. I LOVE watching you faux-offended weenies squirm.

  30. Good way for her to get her name in the papers. See, I thought Eleanor was the Ford Mustang from Gone in 60 Seconds.

  31. nhlheff says:
    Sep 10, 2015 2:11 PM

    Washington used to be called the Braves….
    What’s wrong with changing “back” to that?
    _______
    Boston was called the “Braves” for two years before changing its name as a marketing tie-in with the Boston Red Sox, before moving to DC in 1932.

    Regardless, names like the (ATL) Braves, Chiefs, and (CLE) Indians will be the next to go if “Redskins” changes, so it’s all a moot point.

    On that note, I still don’t understand how people aren’t more concerned with Cleveland’s mascot Chief Wahoo, a bizarre and freakishly racist caricature that would seem to be vastly more degrading than “Redskins” could ever be.

  32. I never thought I’d be on the side of the Redskins … till this clown had to open her mouth.

  33. tajuara says: Sep 10, 2015 2:14 PMYou think that because the NFL punished Brady for cheating now is a corrupt organization similar to FIFA?
    ==================================

    According to NFL sources cited by the NFL’s own propaganda network, ESPN, the NFL punished Brady as a “make good” for what some owners viewed as Goodell not being tough enough

    The evidence from the Wells report itself shows that the footballs were deflated almost EXACTLY as the Ideal Gas Law predicts – showing no wrong doing occurred

    All NFL Fans want fairness – but when the Commissioner and Owners are proven unfair and corrupt – as has been PROVEN by the numerous lies, leaks and distortions in unfairly slandering Brady – then YES, they need to be removed and Integrity needs to be restored to the NFL League Offices and Ownership

  34. Hey congress,

    stay out football and worry about the deal with Iran, the troubles with ISIS, unemployment, and immigration.

    – Signed

    American Taxpayers

  35. An ownership change is the only thing that will keep the Washington franchise from being an embarrassment to the league. The team name is the least of their concerns.

  36. Politicians should just stay out of the NFL. And, just because a politician says something is a racial slur, we’re all supposed to hop on board with what they think. Liberals can suck it.

  37. Who leads these politicians to believe that wasting time and money on pro sports leagues is a good idea? We have a TON of social and political issues to deal with and you chose the Redskins name? Leave the media and social activists to wage that battle. You go do your job.

  38. Obviously the senator doesn’t feel the Raiders and Browns count as NFL teams. Totally understandable.

  39. (1) The Packers don’t have an owner.

    (2)Technically, the Chargers don’t have an owner. They have a pyramid structure that hides the owner behind a federation of lawyers.

  40. Syrian refugees and we’re worry about the NFL in Congress?

    Oh and BTW, she’s a Delegate., NOT a “Congresswoman”. And she is a non-voting Delegate, to boot.

  41. The tax-exempt status of the NFL as a league is just a straw-man. The league itself doesn’t make most of the money, it’s the franchises, if I recall an earlier PFT article. The League is just like a holding company that actually has very little direct taxable revenue, if the exemption went away. This is just an attempt to get attention.

  42. All the crises we’re facing today and this overpaid time-server is wasting taxpayers’ time and money on this? I think not.

  43. Great idea. Let’s just raise taxes so we can pay for a congressional investigation. How many hundreds of thousands of taxpayers dollars went into the Barry Bonds witch hunt?

  44. Strip the Anti-Trust exemption from the NFL period. Don’t make it contingent on some feel-good liberal nonsense. Make them actually compete on an open market instead of giving them a free pass to screw over the fans and NFL markets.

  45. Like many others on these comments, the “29 owners” thing really struck a chord with me. And like many others, that chord rang out something like “this lady is clueless”. So, I thought about it and figured she must know something I don’t. But, the more I thought about it, it just does not make any sense. One poster above made note of the Packers being “a public company”… But that would/should not exclude them from being part of any action pressuring Snyder to change the name. So, it’s clear that the DC Congresswoman is out of touch with “multi-billion dollar industry” that she is strong-arming into political correctness. I think we need a further PFT item specifically on this issue. Does she know what she is talking about? Is she specifically referring to the teams with a single owner (controlling stake)?

  46. This is the same idiot that hit a car about 6 months ago and then walked off like nothing had happened. Also, she’s a non-voting member of congress.

  47. Karmi says:
    Sep 10, 2015 2:16 PM

    Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is a racist…has been for most of her life. She’s also a (at best) borderline misandrist. Who votes for such people?!
    _____________________________
    When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on the support of Paul.

  48. For those who don’t know about her, Elizabeth Holmes Norton has always been as utterly clueless about life generally as she is about sports. She originally talked about introducing a bill to change the NFL’s not for profit status (which the League has since voluntarily surrendered) because she thought losing that status would cost the League money, which of course any tax lawyer could have explained to her it would not, had she been aware enough to ask for tax advice from a competent tax lawyer or smart enough to understand that advice.

    Fortunately, although she falsely calls herself a “Congresswoman”, by law is merely a delegate, meaning she does not have a vote in Congress, but she makes the city feel good about itself as being important without adding any real value – much like her antagonist, Little Danny Snyder.

  49. We have seen the “slippery slope” happen time after time once you give in to totalitarian control freaks.
    Once a name change occurs these weirdo freaks will not stop but boldly look for the next victims. Giants, Eagles, Patriots, Jets, Steelers, Titans, Raiders, Chargers, Chiefs, vikings, Saints, Packers, Buccaneers, Cowboys, or 49er’s could be the next victims.

    I still do not understand why any group of people are supposed to be ashamed of the color of their skin.

  50. Well Walt “tuck” Berman inserts himself on NFL discipline so why not for this do-nothing Govt Bureaucrat as well.

    Washington DC needs to clean house more than the Redskins.

  51. I think if you polled most people they would rather do away with congress before doing away with league’s exempt status

  52. The “delegate” of wash DC is upset cause she’s not allowed to vote for and type of laws on Capitol Hill. So she comes up with ridiculous bills or whatever to let everyone know she still exists. Great way to use my money!!!

  53. When the name was chosen, it was not considered a slur in any way, shape or form. It has always been used a show of respect towards Native Americans. I understand that some may find it offensive today but the reality is that people are offended by everything these days. Many Native Americans appreciate the Redskins name as well as the use of other Native American names. The fine people at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People seem to be doing just fine with a questionable name, I’m not convinced that this is a legitimate concern outside of those who just want to be offended by something.

  54. As long as there is a group of Native Americans who willingly and cheerfully run a high school with the sports team nickname Redskins, any attempt by anyone to claim the sports team nickname Redskins is racist is baseless and without merit.

    And claiming that antitrust protection can be granted or revoked based on someone’s feelings being hurt? That’s just plain stupid.

  55. Did sparky151 really say that members of the minority party do not get to vote on legislation? If that was true we would have a one party system and would have a politburo. And I am a liberal Democrat who is very much opposed to politically correct speech. She does not represent us anymore than (insert you least favorite Republican presidential candidates name here) does.

  56. Call me backwoods or Racist (if you’d like), but when I think of Redskins, I think of pride. But then again, we all live in a world where most of us are told what to think by those whom have sold their souls to the devil.

    Imagine this if you will:
    You’re in a bar, with some friends. One of your friends turns to you and says, “Hey look, some Redskins just walked in.”
    Do you:
    A) Think of Native Americans?
    B) Think of a football player?

  57. Snyder is missing the point that Goodell’s NFL has thriven on. Think all the new named jerseys they could sell. The new named helmets and all the other crap the NFL sells.

  58. j0esixpack says:
    Sep 10, 2015 2:03 PM
    Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has also introduced legislation in past congresses that would require ALL leagues to engage in fair practices – including player conduct
    ________________________________

    Dick Blumenthal, the fake combat Marine. Not an honest person amongst the lot of them in that city.

  59. Every member of Congress of both major parties is utterly and totally corrupt.

    Dems, Gops, doesn’t matter, they are all filth. The fact that they would expend any energy at all on something like this with all the serious problems the country has just reaffirms that.

  60. It’s the liberal democrat way; if you don’t like something, don’t worry about the law
    ——————–
    Yeah, republicans never do that do they? LOL.

  61. Well…, if the NFL would have quit showing up on the government’s doorstep in less than admirable and favorable ways(like a drunk kid at dad and mom’s door) over the past few years, this attention may could have been bypassed or handled differently. The league, under Roger, has no one to blame but Roger. So long Roger. The owners have the green light glowing on the reset button.

  62. The NFL knows if it forces the name change they can kiss begin to kiss the whole league goodbye. One thread at a time will be pulled satisfying one small group at a time and POOF all gone.

  63. A dummocrat….it figures. They will take advantage of ANYTHING just to get some publicity.

    I guess dummocrats cannot bother with economics, tax reform, immigration, real improvement for education, skyrocketing tuition for college, radical islamists, Lois Lerner debacle, Hillary Clinton lying about everything, benghazi, etc

    Instead they choose to fight about a nickname that SOME people are “offended” by. Don’t people who support the name have ANY say in this?

  64. afancydraft says:
    Sep 10, 2015 2:47 PM

    Did sparky151 really say that members of the minority party do not get to vote on legislation? If that was true we would have a one party system and would have a politburo. And I am a liberal Democrat who is very much opposed to politically correct speech. She does not represent us anymore than (insert you least favorite Republican presidential candidates name here) does.
    ____________________________
    I think what he was referring to was that she is a delegate and not a Congresswoman because DC is a federal district, not a state. Therefore she is not eligible to vote on her own proposed bill.

  65. she is a delegate elected by the people who live in DC.
    id say it speaks volumes in both directions.
    its not hard to figure
    Dumb and Dumber
    or you can reverse that and most wouldnt notice the difference

  66. The nickname is the Redskins which is perfectly legal to use and non-offensive to the vast majority of the people.

  67. ah those democrats…

    tearing this country apart piece by piece..

    wasting our money on making certain that everyone’s feelings are just fine.

    get this chick outta there!

  68. Let’s get this straight. The lady is a “delegate” not a “congresswoman”!!

    Eleanor Holmes Norton (born June 13, 1937) is a Delegate to the United States Congress representing the District of Columbia. As a non-voting member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Norton may serve on committees as well as speak on the House floor; however, she is not permitted to vote on the final passage of any legislation.

  69. jetsfmleveryday says:
    Sep 10, 2015 2:00 PM
    “Changing the name is not a question of if, but when. The sooner Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league’s 29 other team owners get on the right side of the law….”

    What about the other two teams in the league? Obviously this woman is way over her head.. doesn’t even know how many teams are in the league… Unless, like most people they don’t acknowledge the Browns and the Jaguars as real NFL teams.

    FYL indeed Jet’s fan, FYL indeed

  70. ever notice the one who cry to conservative “don’t push your beliefs on me” are the very ones trying to force a name change because it’s their belief its offensive?

  71. The Washington Redskins are an embarrassment to the league but not because of the team name.

    Eleanor Holmes Norton is an embarrassment to Congress and the nation.

    Huge difference.

  72. Eleanor Holmes Norton is the Dan Snyder of Congress
    Likewise, Dan Snyder is the Eleanor Holmes Norton of NFL Owners

  73. Congress, and the people of questionable usefulness in it, should concentrate on issues that truly matter to he nation. Certainly not athletics.

  74. Let’s get this straight. The lady is a “delegate” not a “congresswoman”!!”

    Right. Eleanor is pretty much a joke here in DC. Nobody takes her seriously, even the Democrats. Rather than come off as being mean to a delusional old lady, they let her pretend that she is a real member of Congress. If anyone wants a good laugh, look for video of Eleanor attempting to park her car on Youtube. Absolutely hilarious.

  75. I am all for taking away the anti-trust protection. Not at the cost of free speech. If corporations are people too, then they get free speech just like the rest of us. Also, if DC wants State’s Rights, maybe you should elect better people to represent your case, this lady doesn’t do her homework and comes as sounding petty.

  76. as long as they sanction Washington’s nickname, which many consider racist.

    So Goodell’s salary and massive profits don’t pi$$ her off a lousy name does ???

  77. Dear Eleanor,

    Would you mind shutting your stupid face about this nonsense and get back to work securing the borders and making sure the Chinese don’t steal everything that’s not nailed down? Thanks ever so much.

    Sincerely,
    America

    ps: Who are you, again?

  78. So apparently other than her driving (search for the video of her parking, hysterical) every other issue facing the District of Columbia and the nation as a whole has been resolved? How did we all miss that?

    Washington is a mess, coincidentally so are the REDSKINS. The difference of course is the REDSKINS can be improved without a taxpayer revolt

  79. Wow, welcome to post women’s suffrage America, boys. It’s, you know, the 21st century now.

    You guys give all male sports fans a bad name.

    ——————————————————-

    I don’t think that this has nothing to do with genre, and more to do with someone concerned about a name when the country has bigger issues, priorities, priorities.

  80. She said 29 other owners, not teams.

    You want to know where the other 2 went? Well 1 is the city of Green Bay, I doubt she’s talking to them since it’s a city. Not exactly sure where she is on that other one. But the Titans are owned by several members of the Adams family with small percentages & none of them are calling any shots. Just the Team President. Maybe them?

    Who knows? Maybe she’s just dumb.

  81. The NFL needs to pay their fair share of taxes period. These owners bilk taxpayers on new stadiums and they have the gall to say they do not need to pay taxes is absurd!

  82. Eleanor Holmes Norton is a non-voting delegate to congress who likes to call herself a congresswoman which even she should know is a lie – but being from DC one cannot tell the truth from the spin.

  83. There’s 31 other owners, not 29. This is what happens when women try to get involved in sports.

    No she was right. Packers are a owned by public group as a member of congress she is privy to the fact that Jerry Jones is actually a cyborg.

  84. Someone should introduce a bill forcing her to retake her driving exam every year. If you see her driving near you… run for cover!

  85. amazenblue says:
    Sep 10, 2015 4:10 PM

    The NFL needs to pay their fair share of taxes period. These owners bilk taxpayers on new stadiums and they have the gall to say they do not need to pay taxes is absurd!
    —–
    The NFL franchises pay taxes, not the NFL. Also, the NFL isn’t declaring themselves a nonprofit anymore, mostly just to quell the uneducated that don’t understood what and how they paid taxes prior.

  86. How bout instead of using the Redskins name to strip them of their anti-trust exemption, how about you order the FBI to raid 345 Park Ave and see what type of corruption the NFL is truly involved in.

    I bet they will find corruption, racketeering, fixed games according to the point spread results through the referees and instant replay. Every owner needs to be investigated for corruption. Every single thing in the CBA needs to be investigated. Goodell and the owners are hiding major things since they always want all agreements sealed. They take taxpayer money to build their Stadiums. The public has a right to know everything

  87. Washington Redskins? They don’t play in Washington, they could call themselves the Maryland Redskins. Or change the logo to the little red potatoes, then they could be the Washington Redskins and it would not offend anyone because technically it refers to potatoes. After all, the Cleveland Browns don’t even have a logo for a brown, what is a brown? Nothing on their helmet but they have a bulldog logo on some t-shirts. My bulldog is offended by that but he doesn’t complain.

  88. Did someone really play the “misandrist” card? I thought that was last used in the 80’s by young Republicans at Dartmouth with silver spoons in their mouths. The guys that wore ties on campus and watched William F. Buckley. What self respecting man ever accused a woman of being a man hater?

  89. tigerlilac says:
    Sep 10, 2015 4:57 PM

    Did someone really play the “misandrist” card?
    —————————————————————
    The sun shines bright when you come out from under your rock.
    Everything progressive comes around to the belief that white men (read: those who built this country, gave us the tech to do what we are doing now, etc.) are the worst people in the world. According to them, all problems stem from us, everything we have built should be taken away, and we should finally be treated like the only minority with none of the rights everyone else has. Some, famously, have actually called for extermination of white males. Search: professor calls for killing of all whites in America. (he also said to keep ‘some white women because some brothers like white women”. Noel Ingatiev from (predictably Boston U.)

  90. These voters are the same ones who voted Marion Barry back in after his hooker/drug sting went down, not once, but twice. I know, I lived in N Va. for 20 years.

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