NFL tells teams to stop taking tax money for patriotic displays

AP

When NFL teams honor members of the military at games, most fans probably assume that it’s the league’s way of giving back. In reality, in some cases it was the league’s way of making some money. But the practice of the NFL taking taxpayer dollars for patriotic displays will apparently come to an end.

Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake released a report today on the millions of dollars that the Department of Defense has spent on sponsoring events at NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS games. That report said that the NFL has now called on all teams to stop accepting payment for patriotic salutes.

The senators’ report found that taxpayer money was used for $53 million in spending on marketing and advertising contracts with sports teams, according to NBC News. McCain also accused the Department of Defense of dragging its feet when the senators asked for more information about how much taxpayer money was being spent at sporting events.

That doesn’t speak well for the Department of Defense, nor does it speak well for America’s sports leagues that they were all complicit in this waste of taxpayer dollars. But now it’s coming to an end.

49 responses to “NFL tells teams to stop taking tax money for patriotic displays

  1. Well then can taxpayers pick our own salutes since its our money? I have somthing in mind for the NFL Comissioner Goodell that involves the Ohio State Marching Band in a great big middle finger salute to him.

  2. Why shouldn’t teams take tax money for patriotic displays?
    They take tax money for stadiums, and Super bowls.
    They should be entirely funded by the US public, via a special tax. A Football VAT tax on all transactions and assets.
    Own a car, pay $2.75 a year to the NFL.
    Own a pool? That’s $1.22 a year.
    Pay $47.88 for groceries? Add on another 67 cents for the NFL.

    In fact, Goodell should get a raise, and be paid right out of the US Treasury.

  3. Good. I found it sick that media and fans gave so much more attention to PSI than they did to this scandalous story that broke over the offseason.

    The military claims they are broke every time the VA and veterans need money for medical or mental health care. But they had 7 million dollars to fund bogus ceremonies that they passed off in the name of honor. Or 200 million on a runaway blimp.

    NFL= Integreedy.

  4. >> They said they asked the Pentagon for documentation, and found $53 million in spending on marketing and advertising contracts with sports teams between 2012 and 2015, $10 million of which went to clubs in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and Major League Soccer.

    At least I know my tax money was used for a good cause.
    I’m so relieved.

  5. I was surprised that the NFL and the teams were paid by the military. I thought that, if anything, the teams paid the military to perform the color guard, flyovers, etc, because they were services being provided to the teams. I guess it makes sense that the military pays because the colorguard and flyovers are essentially marketing and recruiting tools.

    As someone said on another comment thread, it will be interesting to see if the military targeted such “advertising” to teams with a fanbase of certain demographics. It seems like the Falcons may have gotten more $ than most teams. How much did Green Bay get?

  6. 53 million huh? Chump change
    ———
    Then fund the VA and get the returning veterans the PROPER care that they need. Everyone loves to cheer on veterans as they go off to fight for their country only to ignore them once they return home.

  7. I’m OK with the DoD’s role in this. I am however disappointed in the NFL’s (and other leagues) as they always made it look like they were sincere in honoring these people. It’s the fact sincerity while getting paid part that bothers me the most.

  8. Saw this on the national news last night. The Jets charge the American taxpayers $10,000 to basically have a servicemen show-up on the field.

    Woody Johnson – this is despicable! But then again, you own the Jets, so I guess this should be par for the course.

    As a fan, I’m thinking this is something the team is doing to recognize the sacrifice by our service men and women, but some of these owners actually use it to make profit.

    DESPICABLE!

  9. “The Jets weren’t the only team accepting tax dollars in exchange for access to football, as the Falcons, Ravens, Bills, Bengals, Browns, Cowboys, Packers, Colts, Chiefs, Dolphins, Vikings, Steelers and Rams have also accepted the money.” Ladies and gentlemen meet the scum of the earth.

  10. The Defense Department has the largest budget of any department in the government. The money they spend on sports is disposable income for them. In fact, if they wanted, they could build new stadiums for every team in the NFL and it still wouldn’t be more than what they’ve spent in the Middle East over the last 15 years.

  11. They usually announce when something is a “paid advertisement” but neglected to do so in this case. Seems pretty slick that they would choose to leave that out and come off looking like true blue Americans. Makes me wonder who pays for all of those trips to military bases that players and coaches make. Something tells me its not the NFL or the players.

  12. Clearly these politicians are tired of not getting their cut on the back end of this entirely crooked enterprise.

    Nothing says Patriotism like bribery

  13. I was disgusted by the revelation that NFL franchises were charging for displays supporting the military.

    It also makes me wonder how much is being charged into support “Pinktober”, Punt, Pass & Kick, 9/11 families, Make-A-Wish or ANY other causes! NFL owners & the league officials are showing their true colors.

  14. DoD has a 1 billion dollar yearly advertising budget to lure our young with. Spending on sports teams accounts for only about five percent of that.

  15. Ha ha, Roger Baddell, and the NFL Owners would take the last dollar from your mother if she offered it. I think we are finding out between this and the Hot Pink campaign, there is zero sincerity from the NFL. Fake as fake can be.

  16. purplengold says:
    Nov 4, 2015 3:45 PM

    DoD has a 1 billion dollar yearly advertising budget to lure our young with. Spending on sports teams accounts for only about five percent of that.
    ________________________________
    I suppose it’s okay to piss away 5% of a billion. I mean it’s only 50 million bucks. SMH

  17. factschecker says:
    Nov 4, 2015 2:50 PM
    Good. I found it sick that media and fans gave so much more attention to PSI than they did to this scandalous story that broke over the offseason.

    The military claims they are broke every time the VA and veterans need money for medical or mental health care. But they had 7 million dollars to fund bogus ceremonies that they passed off in the name of honor. Or 200 million on a runaway blimp.

    NFL= Integreedy.

    ***************************************
    Don’t forget the $43 million for a $500K Gas Station in Afghanistan, do the everyday Afghans even drive cars?

  18. It’s a sad day when we have to pay the NFL teams did display patriotism to honor our troops

  19. It’s an advertisement like any other. It makes sense that it costs money. I don’t know why this is shocking or troubling to anyone.

    Does the DoD pay for Army recruiting commercials on TV? Billboard ads for the Marines? Are we disgusted at TV channels and billboard owners for taking money for military ads? No? Then why are we mad at the NFL again?

    I also find it mildly disturbing and vaguely Orwellian that patriotism and military displays are so tightly integrated with sports. If this means less of that, all the better.

  20. The Patriots literally took the second most of any team, only to the Falcons. Nice one

    Where?

    Where do you get this “information”? Florio provided the list of teams earlier in the years and the pats weren’t even on it

  21. When one mixes the incongruous, one should expect to be disgusted. Combat veterans left to languish in rat infested broken down facilities, while the DOD doles out millions to billionaires to get kids with few options to sell their souls to uncle Sam for the honor of serving those who wouldn’t condesend to do so without the guarantee of medical coverage for life. Only in America.

  22. Good news and bad news of this story. Good news is its being stopped. The disgusting part of this story is the only reason the NFL told teams to do this is because they were outed. They arent doing it because its the right thing to do. They are doing it because the heat is on and its become another “distraction” to Goodell like the tax exempt status. Ahain he didnt give it up becuz its appalling he did it becuz he was getting heat for another scumbag decision of his.

    The other downside is NFL teams will stop honoring the militry because they arent getting paid. What a disgusting organization the NFL is

  23. Wonder what advertising and Marketing actually means, we have an all volunteer force. Got a better way to engage the likely workforce? Less than 5% of 1.1 Trillion may be alright, if put to the right use. Seems like we need a few more details and less hyperbole. Congress forced the military to buy 120 million dollars worth of tanks they didn’t want, who’s taking them to the woodshed.

  24. Our tax dollars at work. (Source: Deadspin)

    These 10 teams were paid the most for their salutes to the troops:

    Atlanta Falcons $879,000
    New England Patriots $700,000
    Buffalo Bills $650,000
    Minnesota Wild $570,000
    Baltimore Ravens $534,500
    New Orleans Saints $472,875
    San Diego Chargers $453,500
    Seattle Seahawks $453,500
    Atlanta Braves $450,000
    Indianapolis Colts $420,000

  25. purplengold says:

    DoD has a 1 billion dollar yearly advertising budget to lure our young with.
    ===================================

    Yeah, we should bring the draft back instead, huh?

  26. Blame the department of defense. Not the NFL although it’s a greedy move. Still, whomever let the money flow to NFL for this are the ones to criticize.

  27. The military claims they are broke every time the VA and veterans need money for medical or mental health care. But they had 7 million dollars to fund bogus ceremonies that they passed off in the name of honor. Or 200 million on a runaway blimp.
    __________________________________
    VA and DOD have separate budgets, this spending does not have any effect on the VA.

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