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September 17, 2014

Two Senators Craft Bills to Yank NFL's Nonprofit Status

A Democratic senator said Tuesday that he has introduced legislation to revoke the tax-exempt status of the National Football League and other nonprofit professional sports bodies, while another Democratic lawmaker announced plans to file a measure specifically targeting the NFL, ABC News and Politico report.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker's bill would use an estimated $100-million in revenue from stripping leagues' tax breaks to fund programs to prevent domestic violence. The NFL is embroiled in a scandal over its handling of abuse allegations against former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

Senator Maria Cantwell's proposal aims to ratchet up pressure to change the Washington Redskins' team name. "The NFL needs to join the rest of Americans in the 21st century. We can no longer tolerate this attitude towards Native Americans," the Washington state Democrat said at a Capitol Hill news conference with leaders of Change the Mascot, a group campaigning for the name change.

Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn has long sought to end tax exemptions for large sports bodies that operate as 501(c)(6) trade groups, including the NFL, the National Hockey League, and the Professional Golfers Association.