NFL Star Richard Sherman: Stop Making Taxpayers Pay For Billionaires’ Stadiums


We’ve had a movie star and there is a strong candidate now who was a “reality” show star, so why not football star Richard Sherman for president?

Lindsay Gibbs of Think Progress reports that the Stanford graduate and Seattle Seahawks cornerback said that if he was elected to the White House, he would focus on getting America out of debt.

“I’d get us out of this deficit,” Sherman said. “I’d stop spending billions of taxpayer dollars on stadiums and probably get us out of debt and maybe make the billionaires who actually benefit from the stadiums pay for them. That kind of seems like a system that would work for me.”

He may have been joking about running for president, but he has a great point about taxpayers funding the stadiums. Why should taxpayers pay for stadiums that benefit billionaires? There are many better uses for that tax money.

Gibbs also says, “According to an analysis from the Public/Private Partnerships for Major League Sports Facilities, $12 billion in public funds were used for 51 new sports facilities between 2001 and 2010. ThinkProgress previously offered suggestions for what could be done with that money, such as finance all subsidies for public school lunches for an entire year, provide year-long methadone maintenance for over 2.5 million drug addicts, or fund a preschool education for every three and four-year-old under the poverty line.”

Deadspin reported, the $430 million CenturyLink Field, the home of the Seahawks, was paid for with $300 million in taxpayer money, despite the fact that team owner Paul Allen is the 45th richest man in the world. Seattle taxpayers will be paying for the stadium through 2021.

Gibbs goes on to say, “Very few stadiums buck this trend — although the new home for the Los Angeles Rams is pretty taxpayer friendly, compared to the rest. It is said to cost about $3 billion, but will only be receive $180 million in sales tax kickbacks.”

President Barack Obama tried to solve this problem, but last year’s budget proposal, which included a repeal of the tax-exemption for bonds that finance these arenas ,  was rejected by Congress.

Sherman mentioned that if he was to run for president, he would be a member of the independent party, with a slogan of “Make America The Place You Want To Raise Your Kids.”

While Sherman may not be serious about running for president, his point about taxpayers being responsible for helping billionaires get even more rich is no joking matter. If rich people want to build or rebuild a business to make them lots of money, they should pay for it themselves, just like the poor do. Of course then there would be increased ticket prices because rich people often times will not want to make less profit; but at least that would allow people the freedom to choose to spend their money to support the stadium or for other things.

(Article by Jeremiah Jones)

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