If Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., has her way, the NFL could lose its tax-exempt status if it doesn’t force the owners of the Washington Redskins to change its name to something she and the left-wing speech police approves of, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. According to the AP, the so-called “Change the Mascot” group dispatched a letter to the other 31 team owners linking the name to other issues currently impacting the league.
“The NFL needs to join the rest of America in the 21st Century,” Cantwell said at a news conference with a group of Native American, civil rights and religious leaders who do not approve of the team’s mascot. “We can no longer tolerate this attitude toward Native Americans. This is not about team tradition. This is about right and wrong.”
“In the next few days,” she added, “I will be dropping legislation to end that tax status.” The AP said the bill faces a stiff uphill battle, but the inevitable hearings would bring a spotlight on the issue.
The threat by Cantwell is just one of the latest salvos in what is quickly becoming a war on free speech by the radical left. As we reported earlier Wednesday, the DCCC launched a fundraising campaign on Twitter demanding Rush Limbaugh be taken off the air for saying things they don’t like. The fact that Limbaugh was wildly taken out of context doesn’t matter. Senate Democrats have since jumped on the anti-free speech bandwagon, demanding Limbaugh be taken off the air “immediately.”
Like Limbaugh, the Redskins’ management isn’t ready to cave in to Cantwell. According to the AP, team spokesman Tony Wyllie cited a recent poll in which he said “more than 80 percent of Americans” do not want the team to change its name.
It’s not the first time a sports league has been the subject of legislation targeting its tax-exempt status. The Hill said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., “introduced legislation last year to remove the tax-exempt status of any professional sports league that has more than $10 million in yearly revenue.” The National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball have also given up their tax-exempt status, Mario Trujillo added.
But Cantwell’s bill has nothing to do with economics. It has everything to do with government-enforced political correctness, and raises another serious question. If she is successful in removing the NFL’s tax-exempt status for a name liberals don’t like, who or what else will become the next target? Will liberals in Congress now become the final arbiter of what people can say or what organizations may call themselves? Her bill, if it passes into law, could easily become the first in the left’s effort to ultimately destroy free speech in America.