Non-Profit Executive Roger Goodell Made $29.5M In 2012

The National Football League, as everyone knows, is a not-for-profit charity, the chief purpose of which is to promote the growth of the sport of football. Sure, it rakes in hundreds of millions of tax-exempt dollars annually, and pays its executives tens of millions, but why not? Who can quibble with its sterling track record of football promotion?

Football is safer than it's ever been, and we've got Goodell to thank for that. He surely earned at least half of his salary just by thinking up new ways to penalize thuggish players for illegal hits to the head while allowing us to enjoy clean, healthy helmet-to-helmet smashes, which are still awesome.

When not making sure we can watch the game with a clear conscience, Goodell's NFL is writing big checks to other charities—why, in 2012 alone the league donated $2.3 million. $2.1 million of that was paid to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, surely a worthy choice. (What entity does more to promote the American values of football better than Canton's majestic museum?) And none of this touches on the concussion lawsuit settlement—surely a benevolent act of charity in its own right.

There may be cynics who level criticisms at the NFL, but Joe and Jane Citizen agree that the league needs our help. Why else would the public so eagerly shell out our own tax money to finance new stadiums for our local franchises? If the league paid out big money in taxes, it would just go back to the teams to help afford the stadiums anyway. Better to keep things simple.

Still not convinced that this whole non-profit business is all that great of an idea? Well, let's face it—you're just a hater. And Goodell is laughing all the way to the bank.

[Showbiz 411]