President Donald Trump's tweeted proposal on Tuesday to reverse the NFL's "massive tax breaks" because of the ongoing player protests during the national anthem would have little effect on the league — which voluntarily relinquished its tax-exempt status in 2015 — or the Ravens.
Like the other for-profit NFL teams, the Ravens — valued at $2.5 billion by Forbes magazine in September — pay taxes.
The Ravens declined to say how much the team pays every year, and the information is not publicly available.
"We wouldn't share that," Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said.
The Ravens and the other teams — not the NFL's central office — claim most of the billions of dollars in annual revenue flowing to the league, and each team pays taxes.
The central office is, in effect, an administrative body receiving licensing money, media money and other revenue, and distributing nearly all of it to the teams.
Trump delivered his proposal Tuesday morning.in response to teams whose players are staging protests during the playing of the national anthem before games. Some players have taken a knee to protest racial inequality and police brutality and in response to Trump's earlier comments calling for owners to fire players if they didn't stand for the anthem.
Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!
The Ravens and rival Pittsburgh Steelers have played 46 times but never quite like they will on Sunday: when the outcome of the contest will compete for attention with whether players will kneel.
By Jeff Barker and Jean Marbella
Sep 27, 2017 | 8:45 PM
League critics previously called on Congress to strip the NFL of its tax exemption following a variety of controversies. Those included the NFL's handling of former Ravens' player Ray Rice, who was filmed knocking his then-fiancee unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator. The NFL initially suspended Rice for two games, then made the suspension an indefinite one after the video surfaced.
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While NFL viewership is down slightly, ESPN remains among the most popular cable networks, averaging 3 million viewers in prime time. The network has suffered subscriber losses over the last few years as some viewers have moved to streaming services from cable television.