The National Football League and Players Association donated one million dollars to to Super Storm Sandy’s relief efforts on Thursday afternoon. While this might sound like a nice gesture from the multi billion dollar industry, it is a far cry from what they could have done.
Teams earn between about $10 million for every home game they play if the stadium is sold out. That is roughly a quarter of a billion dollars just in game revenue alone. So in essence, they donated 0.004% of in-game profits to the relief efforts. This doesn’t even take into account TV contracts and products sales, among many other factors.
In total, the NFL makes between $11.5 and $14.7 billion per league year. Yes, you read that right.
Why couldn’t it afford more than one million to help the recovery of what could end up being the greatest natural disaster in the history of North America, at least in terms of finances?
Hell, Charles Woodson donated $100 thousand to the American Red Cross all by himself. So, one player can donate 10% of the amount that a $10 billion industry can?
That makes absolutely no sense to me.
Let’s put this into perspective for a second. Target donated $500 thousand to Sandy relief efforts and Best Buy donated $200 thousand. Combined their revenues don’t even put a dent in what the NFL makes on an annual basis.
The NFL aspires to be considered America’s Sport, and it has been for the most part over the course of the last decade. Super Bowl Sunday is a de-facto holiday, game days take on a new meaning around this nation and the league was there in full force following the tragedy of 9/11.
Why couldn’t it commit to more? How much would it really have hurt the NFL to give say $10 million to relief efforts? In reality that is like the average American dropping a $1 bill to the Red Cross.
I don’t write this to sound like what the NFL did wasn’t enough. I just look at the factors surrounding this disaster and the fact that the league makes so much money, some of the people that were most affected by the disaster, and wonder why they couldn’t have done more.