Tag:NFL Charities
Posted on: April 5, 2011 3:57 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2011 6:03 pm

NFL Charities draws '$2M' from on-field fines

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE (4:45 PM EST): Per NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, "... the fact is NO player fine money is used by NFL Charities to fund Player Foundation grants ... Player fine money each year is used to support retired players via NFL Player Care Foundation and NFLPA Players Assistance Trust." Aiello also added that "Those funds come from NFL clubs."

Aiello's clarification, if accurate, debunks one of the issues regarding the publicized distribution of this financial data (and ruins a perfectly good IRS analogy, sigh). But at the risk of sounding like I'm asking the NFL to, ahem, "open the books," it's still pretty cut-and-dry on the NFL Charities website as to how they bring in revenue, but not as clear on the distribution.

Earlier today, we told you that NFL Charities, the charitable arm of the NFL, donated $1 million to 87 different NFL players' charities.

We also noted that there was a slight reason to be skeptical, since two of the named players in the press release -- Drew Brees and Peyton Manning -- are also named plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the NFL.

Here's another reason to cast a wary eye towards this highly-publicized, albeit highly-charitable, donation: NFL Charities draws, according to their own website, $2 million in funding from on-field hits during the NFL season.
NFL Charities has traditionally donated funds to charitable causes from annual revenues generated by on-field disciplinary fines levied against players and coaches. This on-field fine money has netted more than $2 million per year for distribution to a variety of worthwhile charitable organizations over the last four years.
 The website also notes that "one-quarter of the total fine money received by NFL Charities each year is donated to support former players in need through the NFL Player Association's Player Assistance Trust (PAT)."

So, that's great, because those former players do need help, particularly in medical assistance through financial donations.

But, with all do respect to NFL Charities and at the risk of making an analogy that will remind you April 15th is on the horizon, that's a bit like the IRS taking the money I owe them in taxes each year, donating it to charity and then issuing a press release to let everyone know that they donated money to a charity like The V Foundation, which I already support with my own money.

For instance, James Harrison got tagged for a $20,000 fine when the Steelers played the Saints on Halloween ... for hitting Drew Brees. Brees' foundation, obviously, received some of that money.

This isn't me poo-poo'ing philanthropy, and I'm sure that the Brees Foundation appreciates the money going to a good cause.

But the fact that money -- and a lot of money, in fact -- that comes from the players' pockets is being used to help fund donations back to the players seems like something worth recognizing.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: April 5, 2011 1:10 pm

NFL Charities donates $1M to Brees, Peyton, more

Posted by Will Brinson

In fantastic news, the NFL announced on Tuesday that NFL Charities (the charitable foundation of the NFL, natch) has donated $1 million to 87 different charitable foundations run by current and former players.

In slightly more awkward news, the first two names listed in the NFL's press release are Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, who, as you may know, are currently suing the NFL in an antitrust suit!

"We are proud to support current and former player foundations and applaud all players' efforts to make their communities healthy, happy, and safe," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who also serves as the president of the NFL Charities board of directors, said Tuesday.

Of course, all players are currently suing the NFL, but Brees and Manning just so happen to be named plaintiffs in the suit. 

And, in fairness to the NFL, they also happen to be two of the biggest names in the league, which is a justifiable reason for using their names in a high-profile press release.

Additionally, it's not unheard of for such donations to be made around this time of year -- on March 30, 2009, the NFL gave away $1 million and referred to the timing as "Inaugural NFL Charities Week."

But the timing -- less than 24 hours before the two square off in court on a fairly important hearing related to the lockout -- and the fact that the NFL felt compelled to post this press release to NFLLabor.com -- "Your Source for NFL Labor Information" -- is a big odd. As is the naming of Brees and Manning specifically (their foundations have previously been donated to, although they weren't named in the release).

Having made those mildly awkward points, there's $1 million being given to a lot of different charities, and that's always fantastic news.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com