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Thread: Senators move to ban use of taxpayer dollars to pay NFL teams to honor troops

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Senators move to ban use of taxpayer dollars to pay NFL teams to honor troops

    I found this interesting...I mean, I always new that the services paid for NASCAR car sponsorship, but didn't know all these "Honor the Heroes" deals at NFL games were paid marketing campaigns...

    Washington (CNN)Honoring U.S. troops at National Football League games should be done out of a sense of patriotism, not a quest for profit, says a bipartisan group of senators who are moving to ban the use of taxpayer dollars for the practice.

    Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona; Jeff Flake, R-Arizona; and Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, filed an amendment Thursday to the National Defense Authorization Act that bans the Department of Defense from spending taxpayer funds to honor American soldiers at sporting events.

    In a statement, the senators said the National Guard paid NFL teams nearly $7 million for marketing and advertising contracts over the last three years, including $675,000 to the New England Patriots, which included the team's "True Patriot" promotion, in which the team honored Guard troops during home game half-time shows. Other activities paid for by the Guard included color guard ceremonies, American flag ceremonies and player appearances at local high schools.
    Earlier this year, Flake uncovered public documents detailing marketing contracts between 2011 and 2014 totaling some $377,000 between the New Jersey Army National Guard and the New York Jets. The documents specify that the funds covered "Hometown Hero" salutes on the billboards at the stadium, tickets for veterans and their families to attend games, and costs of veterans attending kickoff events with Jets players.
    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told CNN's Jake Tapper in May that the Jets should return the money to the National Guard.
    Last month, McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services, ripped wealthy NFL owners as "disgraceful" and "crass" for the practice and vowed to put an end to it in the annual defense bill now being debated. He took to the Senate floor Thursday to speak in support of the amendment.
    "For many Americans, football is deeply patriotic and woven into the very fabric of our country's unique history and heritage, McCain said, noting that teams wear special camouflage uniforms and hold gameday programming in the fall to honor service members. "That is why I and so many other Americans were shocked and disappointed to learn that several NFL teams weren't sponsoring these activities out of the goodness of their own hearts, but were doing it to make an extra buck, taking money from the American taxpayers in exchange for honoring American troops."

    In a government oversight report released last month, McCain highlighted $49 million that the Army National Guard spent in 2014 on marketing and advertising with professional sports organizations, despite the fact that the Guard was facing serious budget shortfalls in the accounts used to pay and train soldiers.
    A search of the government's website shows this practice has been going on far longer than three years. The Pentagon paid the Atlanta Falcons more than $1.1 million dollars since 2010 and paid the Baltimore Ravens more than $1.2 million since 2009.
    The amendment -- which also encourages professional sports organizations that have accepted taxpayer funds in exchange for military tributes to donate that money to organizations that support members of the U.S. armed forces, veterans and their families -- is not a part of the House-passed defense authorization bill, but aides say it is likely to be included once the two chambers negotiate the final package.
    An NFL spokesman said Thursday night that the proposed amendment "paints a completely distorted picture of the relationship between NFL teams and our military."
    "We agree that no one should be paid to honor our troops," Brian McCarthy said. "Military spending on recruiting efforts should not be confused with programs that support our nation's active military and veterans. The NFL's long history of honoring and supporting our troops will continue because it is the right thing to do."
    "Now that this has become a piece of pending legislation it is our policy not to discuss" the matter, said National Guard Spokesman Maj. Earl Brown.
    When the story was first reported last month, the Guard said that while past sports sponsorships had played an important role in helping build strong brand awareness,...

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    Last edited by Bos Mutus; 06-05-2015 at 07:48 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Absinthe Anecdote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    I found this interesting...I mean, I always new that the services paid for NASCAR car sponsorship, but didn't know all these "Honor the Heroes" deals at NFL games were paid marketing campaigns...
    Neither did I, but I always thought that they were corny as hell. I think it is only slightly more embarrassing for the military than it is for the NFL.

    If I wanted to, I could construct a conspiracy argument that it is just a small part of some elaborate plot to put the American public under a hypnotic spell.

    Can't wait to see what Rainmaker does with this information.

    I just wish it would come out that country singers were being paid for writing all those syrupy bullshit patriotic songs.

    The country music industry contains the biggest group of assholes who are cashing in on our troops going to war and coming home mangled, or in body bags.
    All behold that fancy strutting peacock, the bake sale diva...

  3. #3
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    Finally, we see eye to eye on something. I agree that these programs should be stopped.

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