The Boston Globe has a feature on the non-profit foundations set up by athletes, and as one might expect, some do a better job of funneling money to their stated missions than others do.
One, though, stands apart and might even be considered a fraud:
A foundation started by New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez gave only 1 percent of proceeds to charity during its first year of operation in 2006, then stopped submitting mandatory financial reports to the IRS and was stripped of its tax-exempt status. Yet the group’s website still tells visitors the A-Rod Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization.
That website, hosted by MLB.com, remains active, though the latest news is from Sept. 5, 2007. It should be noted that while nothing suggests the Foundation has been shut down, there’s no apparent way to donate to it on the webpage. There’s also no link back to the foundation on Rodriguez’s official homepage. And given that Alex’s ex-wife, Cynthia, is featured prominently as part of the Foundation’s website, one assumes that if A-Rod does decide to jump back into the charity business, he’ll be coming up with something completely new.
The Boston Globe’s reporting also suggests that the foundations of Josh Beckett and ex-Patriots receiver Deion Branch weren’t very efficient, while those set up by Curt Schilling and 49ers quarterback Alex Smith did a better job of making sure what they took in got into the proper hands.
Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.
Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.
Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.
As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.