NFL player who benefits from stadium subsidies says quit it with the stadium subsidies

If you had to guess which pro athlete would make ending public subsidies for sports stadiums a key part of his mock presidential platform, it’d pretty much have to be Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, right?

“I’d get us out of this deficit,” he 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.”

Of course, Sherman is actually one of the people who benefits from stadium subsidies, since they help boost league revenues, which are tied to the league salary cap, which gives teams more money to bid on players with. That’s sure to be one of the first questions asked when Sherman debates … Curt Schilling? I’m going with Curt Schilling.


21 comments on “NFL player who benefits from stadium subsidies says quit it with the stadium subsidies

  1. Why Curt Schilling? Sherman’s skimpy platform I could go along with except the part about lowering his own tax bracket. How about neither. I would definitely stay home if these were the only two candidates and no other issues were on the ballot. I would be planning my move to Canada.

    • Curt Schilling clearly would *like* to run for president. Or at least be asked what his platform would be. And Raul Mondesi isn’t a U.S. citizen, so he’s not eligible.

  2. Just because Sherman benefits from the subsidized stadiums doesn’t mean he can’t also oppose it. I think it says a lot more about his character that he’s willing to sacrifice his inflated salary for the good of the rest of us. VOTE SHERMAN 2016!!

  3. While I am pleased to hear Sherman make such a sensible statement, I did not read anything which suggested he would be willing to renegotiate his own contract (downwards) to help pay for these facilities.

    He suggested someone else should pay for them besides the taxpayers (which puts him one up on franchise owners, I guess), but he did not offer to chip in himself so far as I can see.

    • I believe the point he is making is that billionaires do not need any help to build their new stadiums and arenas. They are wealthy enough to do it without help. Why should he, or anyone else, offer to “chip in”?

      • I might not expect him to offer to chip in, but it’s inevitable that salaries would decrease. Just a little bit. Maybe he’d only make 3/4 of a ton of money instead of a full ton.

    • Why would an employee chip in to pay for their bosses capital expenses? The thing people forget, regardless of the sums of money involved, is that players are in the same boat as any other employee as far as wanting to get more money from their boss. I would imagine for most NFL players they would like to see salaries raised without the ridiculous league wide revenue math being th ebarometer for the salary cap.

    • IF you read the comment above mine, you will see that that poster claimed that it “says a lot about Sherman’s character” that he is willing to sacrifice some of his inflated salary.

      Sherman said no such thing, which is what I pointed out. I think it quite clear from my comment that I am not saying that he should, just pointing out that he did not say he would be willing to sacrifice some of his inflated salary.

      He wants the owners to sacrifice, which I applaud. But he did not offer to sacrifice any of his own salary in furtherance of this goal.

  4. The last line seems unfair. It’s not like Sherman lobbied for any previous subsidy.

    Sherman could rightly point out that by the same token if it wasn’t for stadium subsidies, you wouldn’t have written a book and a whole bunch of articles, and so financially you too have personally benefitted financially from the subsidies if only by making a career of opposing them.

    • I’m not saying Sherman can’t be critical of stadium subsidies, or that he’s a hypocrite or something. Just that he may be unaware that he’s benefited from them as well as Paul Allen.

      As for my benefits, the but-for on my stadium writing is hard to determine. There’s clearly a substitution effect here — if I’d never written about stadiums, I would have written about something else (I wrote about lots of other topics before stadiums, and still do), and who’s to say if it wouldn’t have been more lucrative, or at least come with retirement benefits? Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but I think the economics on Sherman’s salary are a bit more straightforward, unless the stadium-goosed NFL salaries somehow kept him from a career as a top Google executive or something. (Which I actually wouldn’t put past him, given that it’s Sherman.)

      This is officially the strangest comment I have ever written.

      • Agree with the last line.

        If we were to go through the “but-fors” there is no guarantee the CBA would look like it does if the era of heavily-subsidized stadiums had never come to pass. In fact, the economics might look quite different.

        On this the first day of Euro 2016, it’s worth noting European soccer stars are quite well compensated despite the fact publicly financed stadiums are not the norm. Of course, they have never heard of such a thing as a salary cap.

    • I don’t agree that the last line is unfair. Sherman doesn’t have to have lobbied for any previous subsidy to have benefitted from them.

      A direct allegory for this case would be Warren Buffett pointing out that, under the current tax laws, he is able to pay a lower marginal tax rate than his secretary does. It is perfectly fair for any of us to point out that Mr. Buffett, while entitled to some of the more dubious tax deductions available to him under US law, is not legally required to structure his income in such a way as to take advantage of them. It is his choice to do so, just as it is Sherman’s choice to take the full amount of pay offered and not redirect any to the city of Seattle as a voluntary payment toward the construction of his place of work.

      In simple parlance, both Sherman and Buffett are sucking and blowing at the same time… benefitting financially from a policy or program that they publicly complain about in order to woo the general public (who really are the net losers in both cases).

      If either Sherman or Buffett really feel badly about the policies they complain about, they could either not take the (net) revenue offered or each make anonymous donations to the charity or service of their choice equal to the amount they feel they have benefitted by these policies.

      Or, they could each keep their money and shut their big mouths about how “wrong” it is that they are 1%ers who derive these benefits from the average taxpayer.

      • “…or each make anonymous donations to the charity or service of their choice equal to the amount they feel they have benefitted by these policies.”

        Which for all you know he has done, because, anonymous.

      • Also, the Buffett argument is pretty hilarious since he’s in the process of giving away 99% of his wealth.

        But I guess he should have done that anonymously.

        • He’s been “in the process” for some time… a decade or so. Yet both he and Gates still feature at or near the top of the wealthiest list.

          Your point is what, exactly? That people who say they are going to do something but haven’t done it yet should be creditted with doing it anyway?

          I promise to end world hunger. Where’s my nobel prize already?

          • Well, I recall he recently wrote a check for $2.8B which is more money than I’ll ever see by an order of magnitude.

            Who knows, though. You wanted everyone to be anonymous, so maybe you got your wish.

            What that has to do with stadium subsidies I don’t know.

  5. Wait…your saying he shouldn’t have a right to speak out against this garbage?? Should he play in a more ethical league until this jive is fixed???

  6. In all likelihood, Richard Sherman’s point of view is that he works for Paul Allen and not the NFL. On this particular subject, he is entitled to his opinion and am completely in agreement with it.

  7. Hell, I want Beast Mode to run for President. If nothing else, it moves us one step closer to Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGUNPMPrxvA

    • Could anything be weirder than the truth in the 2016 election cycle? Oh man….