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US: Senator wants end to antitrust exemption for all pro sports leagues

 |  September 23, 2014

Just days after Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced proposed changes that would end the NFL’s antitrust exemption – part of a crusade to force the league to change the offensive Redskins name – reports say Cantwell has found support in another senator.

Senator Richard Blumenthal announced Monday a proposal that would end antitrust exemptions for the league, though Blumenthal’s aim is to have the NFL take domestic violence more seriously.

The senator’s proposal would also end antitrust exemptions for the National Hockey League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.

”The antitrust exemption is critical to their business model,” he said. “These blank checks must end. With these public investments must come public responsibility. These leagues must be held accountable for their public leadership on issues.”

Professional sports, and the National Football League in particular, have been criticized in recent months for various issues. While controversy looms over the NFL’s Redskins name, which many consider to be racist and offensive, more recently the league has taken heat for the way it responds to domestic abuse and domestic violence matters, especially after video emerged of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice allegedly beating his then-girlfriend.

Blumenthal’s proposal would require professional sports leagues to reapply for antitrust status every five years after Congressional review. According to Blumenthal, these leagues make billions of dollars every year due to their ability to negotiate broadcasting contracts without fear of antimonopoly law.

Full content: CTNow

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