San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy) (Denis Poroy, Associated Press)

By: Joey Ferguson

The United Way, The Red Cross and Amnesty International all come to mind when thinking of nonprofits.

But one organization isn’t typically associated with these groups: The National Football League.

That’s right, the NFL. It’s apparently classified as a nonprofit organization free of federal taxes, according toThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

A 1966 law specifically allowed football leagues a 501(c)(6) status as tax-exempt trade organizations.

Because of this, the NFL is able to enjoy $184 million in revenue from its member teams and $1 billion in assets, all of which is tax-exempt.

Other sports organizations, like the Professional Golf Association and the National Hockey League, share the same status as the NFL.

“If Georgia tax law is like that of many states, the NFL and its employees would be exempted from paying the tax that everyone else must pay to subsidize stadiums built for a highly profitable industry,” said Jay Bookman, columnist for the Journal-Constitution.

Major League Baseball also had the same status, but chose to put a stop to it because nonprofit organizations must report the salaries of its top executives, according to the Journal-Constitution.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

TWITTER: @joeyferguson