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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Why The NFL Formed Its Own PAC

  • The NFL is following in the footsteps of MLB.
  • The league is using its Gridiron PAC to establish political influence.
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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

The NFL knows it needs a seat at the table with the decision-makers in Washington, D.C. — and for good reason. 

Many of the issues that confront the league are of interest to lawmakers, whether it be player safety, steroid use, or negotiating television broadcasting rights. 

Under the direction of commissioner Roger Goodell, the NFL pushes some efforts through its own political action committee, dubbed the “Gridiron PAC,” which launched in 2008.

The PAC’s purpose is to strengthen the NFL’s political influence through lobbying. 

The NFL generated $12 billion in revenue in 2020 and through the PAC — and political contributions — the league can use its money to facilitate access to key members of Congress, in both the House and Senate.

The NFL increased its expenditures in politics to more than $1 million for the first time in 2007 and is on pace to do so again this year.

During the 2019-20 congressional campaign cycle, the NFL spent $2.44 million on lobbying, according to Senate reports. The league also disbursed $480,000 in contributions to campaigns, parties, and other PACs, according to ESPN.

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