The NFL owes domestic violence victims a big fat check

The money is certainly there. Last year total NFL revenues were more than $9 billion. Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he’d like to increase that amount to $25 billion by 2027 and many experts think the league can do that. The NFL itself collects only a fraction of that, in the form of $6 million annual dues from each team, and each franchise has its own expenses. But the Ravens last year had an operating income of $56.7 million, according to Forbes. Only one organization (the Detroit Lions) lost money while several made quite a bit more. The Washington Redskins and New England Patriots each had operating incomes of more than $140 million and one franchise, the Dallas Cowboys, had an operating income of more than $245 million. (Goodell’s salary, by the way, was $44 million last year.)

Some league offiicals and team owners would surely bristle at the suggestion they set up and finance a domestic violence foundation. They would point out that they already promote charitable causes, with dollars and, in the case of players, with their time. That’s true—and utterly irrelevant. For years, the NFL has looked the other way, effectively condoning domestic violence.

This wouldn’t be charity. This would be restitution.