Dispatches from the Culture Wars - Still Cleaning Up After the Super Bowl Edition
- Americans Think NFL Should Pay Taxes - Kavitha A. Davidson (Bloomberg News)
- Anti-Redskins Logo Commercial Making Waves on Internet (Fox Sports)
- The Sip Heard Around the World: Scarlett Johansson, Super Bowl and SodaStream - Ilene Prusher (Haaretz)
- Opinion: Irish Americans shouldn't Ignore Undocumented Latinos' Plight - Cahir O'Doherty (Voices of NY)
- Quitting the N.F.L.: For John Moffitt, the Money Wasn't Worth It - Ken Belson (New York Times)
- Your Favorite Interracial Family is Back With a New Game-Day Ad for Cheerios (ColorLines)
By Kavitha A. Davidson
January 24, 2014
The NFL enjoys vast support among the American public despite recent controversies, but when it comes to taxes, the league is best served by keeping fans in the dark.
A survey conducted last month by Fairleigh Dickinson University found that people overwhelmingly oppose tax breaks enjoyed by the league, while the majority had no idea the National Football League has nonprofit status. The poll, which questioned more than 1,000 people, found that 56 percent identified themselves as football fans, 69 percent don't think public money should be used to build stadiums, and 71 percent oppose tax breaks to keep an NFL team in town.
Most interesting, however, is how effective the NFL's public-relations machine has been at keeping its nonprofit status out of the public eye. To clarify, the NFL is not categorized as a charity under the tax code; rather, it falls under Section 501(c)(6), which exempts trade or industry associations from taxation. In 1966, the tax code was amended to include professional football to facilitate the merger of the NFL and the American Football League, by granting the sport antitrust and tax exemptions. The next-richest professional sports league, Major League Baseball, does not enjoy the same break.
February 1, 2014
During his state of the NFL address on Friday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell again addressed the topic of changing the Washington Redskins' nickname. Goodell said the name has been ''presented in a way that honors Native Americans'' and that a vast majority of Americans in general and Native Americans in particular support the franchise keeping the nickname.
Asked if the term was appropriate to refer to a Native American, Goodell said, ''This is the name of a football team.''
Well, it isn't stopping the National Congress of American Indians from continuing its fight. There's an ad circulating the Internet in favor of changing the name. Check out the ad at this link.
By Ilene Prusher
February 2, 2014
Once, she was a poster girl for quirky movies, good acting - and well, just being gorgeous. But when Scarlett Johansson made the move into being an actual poster girl, it was a game changer. When she signed on in December to be the poster girl for SodaStream, an Israeli maker of home-carbonation machines with a factory in a West Bank settlement, it apparently never occurred to her that it might be incompatible with an existing do-gooder gig: serving as spokeswoman for Oxfam for the past eight years.
By Voices of NY/Cahir O'Doherty
January 30, 2014
Voices of NY
Drawing a parallel between Irish undocumented immigrants and their Latino peers, Cahir O'Doherty, in an opinion article on irishcentral.com, highlights the plight of undocumented Latinos, many of whom are often seen on the 7 train.
O'Doherty says the Irish Americans understand the challenges of living in an atmosphere where their identity is suspect for many in the community came to America undocumented and many still do.
"Being Irish, we ought to have a special awareness of the cabinet of horrors that animates anti-immigrant sentiment, having for generations endured the worst excesses of nativism ourselves."
By Ken Belson
November 18, 2013
New York Times
John Moffitt chugged mugs of black coffee and talked almost giddily about how, the week before, he called John Elway, the head of football operations for the Denver Broncos, to tell him he was quitting the National Football League, leaving behind the money and the fame, but also the constant pain and the danger.
In the off-season, after battling for playing time and trying to stay fit, Moffitt, a free spirit who idolizes Jim Morrison, started reading the writings of the Dalai Lama and Noam Chomsky, among others. They helped him conclude that he was a pawn in a machine that controlled his life and that he no longer wanted to meet the expectations attached to that life.
"You kind of let go of that dream that you kill yourself for, to be a millionaire, and you see through it and see that it's just a facade," said Moffitt, who was dressed in baggy jeans, T-shirt, work boots and black pea coat. "I let go of all that stuff."