Taxpayer costs are always controversial, but issue has been elevated by demonstrations
American taxpayers shelled out billions of dollars to build the stadiums that National Football League players are now using to stage their kneel-down protests of the national anthem.
The players say they have a right to express their displeasure with racism in the U.S. with their protests, but lawmakers say the NFL could be risking its access to the public trough if the team owners don’t get a grip on the situation.
“These protests are spitting in the face of the people who paid for that stadium,” said state Rep. Steve Drazkowski, a Republican in Minnesota, where the NFL’s Vikings team just opened a stadium built with more than $500 million in local and state financial assistance. “It will create buyer’s remorse among the taxpayers.”
With figures adjusted for inflation, Minnesotans will pay out nearly $1.3 billion over the next 30 years for the stadium.
It’s one part of the more than $6.7 billion in public funds taxpayers have shelled out to build 19 NFL stadiums and renovate three others since 1997.