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April 29, 2015

Opinion: Why the NFL Is Relinquishing Nonprofit Status

The National Football League's announcement Tuesday that it will give up its 501(c)(6) tax exemption is more about image than finance, eliminating a tax break widely viewed as unfair and helping boost the league's public standing amid knotty controversies over domestic-abuse scandals and players' head injuries, according to The Atlantic.

Based on its 2012 revenue of $326 million—most of the $10 billion earned annually by pro football goes to the 32 teams and is already taxed—the league will owe income taxes of $10 million to $15 million a year, Joe Pinsker writes on the magazine's Web site. "The change will have mild repercussions for the organization's finances, but really, it'll just get detractors to finally stop complaining about its nonprofit status," he says. "The biggest difference it'll make is to the public's perception of the NFL."

One side effect of the NFL's decision is that it will no longer have to reveal its commissioner's salary, The Washington Post notes. The league paid Commissioner Roger Goodell $44 million in wages and bonuses in 2012 and $35.1 million the following year.