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How Much Do NFL Teams Contribute to Political Parties?

Byline: Maury Brown

One of the little followed stories in sports is the behind-the-scenes efforts on the political front. Political donations are part and parcel with US sports properties, especially those that have some form of anti-trust exemption.

In July of 2007, I examined how Major League Baseball's political action committee (MLBPAC) was taking political donations in and how they were redirected (see Money, Politics, and MLB's Political Action Committee ( Now, has done an extensive look at campaign contributions from players, coaches, and owners in the NFL (see Politicians Score Significant Cash From NFL Owners, Coaches and Players ( As reported:

The NFL last year also created a political action committee -- the Gridiron PAC ( -- and opened an office in Washington, D.C., from which to better lobby lawmakers.

"Like any large business, a presence in Washington is a good thing to have for us," Jeff Miller, the NFL's vice president for government relations and public policy, told Capital Eye.

Miller noted that the NFL now employs two full-time staffers in Washington who lobby on and track a variety of governmental issues that interest the league: labor law, media policy, illegal gambling, communications and performance-enhancing drugs.

As mentioned, having political influence can impact anti-trust exemption, and for the NFL, that relates to the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961, a critical element of the NFL that allows broadcast revenues to be centralized across the 32 franchises.

But, how did each franchise contribute, along with other football entities such as the UFL, Pro Football HOF, NFL Network, AFL, plus others, and to what party? Select Read More ( to see contributions for each since 1989
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Author:Brown, Maury
Publication:The Biz of Football
Date:Sep 20, 2009
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