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Please Don't Crowdfund Money For Billionaires and Their Sports Teams

I get it, you love the Patriots, but c'mon.

Like searching for the world's slowest rock, you'd think it'd be impossible to discover the internet's least-worthy crowdfunding project. And yet, even in a world where regular people relish the opportunity to give millionaires more money, we might be witnessing a new low.

Some dude named Michael J. Whitman set up a Go Fund Me account where fans of the New England Patriots can help raise the million dollars required to pay off an NFL fine.


In the AFC championship game, the team was caught playing with footballs that were almost definitely deliberately less inflated than is allowed by NFL rules. As punishment, quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for four games, the team lost some draft picks, and has also been hit with a million dollar fine.

Sentiment amongst non-Patriot football fans seems to mostly revolve around how much they hate Tom Brady, but a few have joined Patriots fans in calling the punishment some variation of "bullshit." Whitman took things to the next level, and is planning to personally deliver a check for the money his campaign raises to the team.

"We obviously know we won't reach One Million Dollars, however we do believe the fine is bulls**t and want to help anyway we can," the page states. "So whatever is donated will be donated to the New England Patriots in [sic] help with the fine!"

Over its first 17 hours, 73 people have spent money they presumably earned to help the New England Patriots pay a fine.

This is the worst. Even worse than Zach Braff. Don't do this. If you need to give money away, find someone who doesn't have any. Money is not a concern here.

The Patriots are owned by Robert Kraft whose net worth is $4.3 billion. He ran a giant paper manufacturing conglomerate that does a brisk $2.7 billion in sales. In addition to owning the stadium where the Patriots play, and making money off of Umass playing there, Kraft owns something called Patriot Place, which Forbes describes as "more than 1.3 million square feet of shopping, dining and entertainment. Patriot Pace [sic] features retailers like Old Navy, Victoria's Secret and the region's only Bass Pro Shops, as well as restaurants such as CBS Scene, Davio's, Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill and Olive Garden."

He's got Olive Garden cash and probably doesn't even realize it because he also owns the New England Patriots, an investment that has appreciated by more than 1,000 percent since he bought the team in 1994.

After the Dallas Cowboys, the Patriots rake in the second most revenue and profit in the NFL, and are valued at $2.6 billion. The team earns over $300 million in revenue a year, and it just won a Super Bowl. NFL franchises have plenty of money.

A lot of the people donating are saying that this is more about the principal than the actual money, which is a sign that there may be hope for those people yet. Because that's one sentiment that makes sense. This definitely isn't about money.