NFL will give back more than $700,000 to U.S. government for military tributes

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The NFL made more than $700,000 from 2012 through 2015 for seemingly organic military tributes. The league has now committed to paying the money back.

Via Darren Rovell of ESPN.com, the league determined based on an audited review of marketing agreements that teams received  $723,734 for military tributes during the three-year window. Commissioner Roger Goodell made the disclosure in a letter to Senator Jeff Flake and Senator John McCain on Wednesday.

Goodell said that the money would be returned to the federal government, and that the league will be more vigilant in the future regarding the spotting and prevention of these activities in the future.

The league apparently has returned only payments for on-field flag ceremonies and tributes to welcome home veterans. The initial report showed that, dating back to 2011, NFL teams received more than $6 million from the military.

The move came after the league absorbed heavy criticism for acts of patriotism for which the teams got paid. While it’s hardly a surprise that the NFL reversed course once the practice came to light, the league got brownie points for giving back the green.

“In all the years I’ve spent rooting out egregious federal spending, the NFL is the first organization to perform due diligence, take responsibility and return misspent funds to the taxpayers,” Senator Flake said, via Rovell. “The NFL’s response to this investigation sets a new standard and only strengthens its reputation as a supporter our nation’s military service members and veterans.

Still, the fact that the league took the money in the first place — and likely would have kept it but for the exposure of the practice — doesn’t mesh with the picture of unequivocal support for the military. True supporters wouldn’t have stuck the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard with a bill for the type of pandering that ordinarily comes without strings attached, and that also results in the sale of plenty of military-themed NFL merchandise every November.

24 responses to “NFL will give back more than $700,000 to U.S. government for military tributes

  1. ONLY because they got CAUGHT!!!!
    NFL has a slimy commissioner & staff at 345 Park Ave…..

  2. I’m fine with the military paying the NFL, but only if it’s openly acknowledged. The NFL flaunting how much they support the military while taking their money was the issue, at least in my eyes.

  3. Am I out of line for thinking they could have better spent this money by donating it to veterans charities rather than dumping it back into the DoD?

  4. Damn well needed to give that money back. Nothing was so irksome than to see the fat cats pretending to give respect to our military when in reality they were just lining their greedy pockets. I hated that; it really made me bitter, and I’m a peaceful fellow.

  5. And, while the NFL is at it, it should stop airing pro-military advertisements/propaganda while the military is engaged mainly in defending the profits of Big Oil and the Military-Industrial Complex.

  6. MossMoon2Packers says:
    May 19, 2016 4:59 PM
    And, while the NFL is at it, it should stop airing pro-military advertisements/propaganda while the military is engaged mainly in defending the profits of Big Oil and the Military-Industrial Complex.
    ============================================

    There’s always that one guy…

  7. This is the greedy NFL we’re talking about. Teams are owned by billionaires of teams worth billions in a league worth tens of billions of dollars. Yet… they demand/threaten/extort the public taxpayers into giving them a free stadium, haven’t paid taxes for decades, take away home games and force football on soccer countries, barely pay cheerleaders anything ($75/game), can’t afford goal line cameras, refused to pay ex players medical bills and leading to the concussion lawsuits, etc.

    No wonder they stiffed the military. They did the same with the breast cancer promotion too.

  8. The last place the money should go back to is the Federal government. They heard the NFL was giving back $700,000 and spent $1.6 million dollars in celebration of the fact.

  9. This is ALL KINDS of messed up; a couple feel special moment fly overs where people will think neat patriotic thoughts should NOT mean millions for the NFL. That is INSANE. The only other way you could look at it is marketing dollars; come to the army, it’s super neat and you can nuke Bin Laden. Any way you look at it, it’s all kinds of messed up.

  10. Well they still have about 300k left from the money they stole from the Patriots.

    NFL officials can use it in small denominations to “make it rain” on Jerry Jones’ party bus.

  11. It’s nice that they were able to find $700k to give back out of the millions they received. Wonder if they used a different accountant than the one they used when they attempted to defraud the players by diverting $110M from the shared funds pool.

    integrity…

  12. It’s amazing that after everything that has come out about how duplicitous the NFL league office is, there are still people that believe deflategate was on the up and up.

  13. As a Navy vet, I’m happy to see this money returned to the military. And as someone else mentioned, it would be great if it were spent on military vets who need it as there are untold numbers of homeless vets out there.

    I found it shameful that the NFL exploited us, pretending to be our friends and supporters. Just be truthful that it has nothing to do with patriotism, and every thing to do with payments.

    If any one of those stadiums came under attack, the military would be the first ones they’d call. I wonder how they’d feel if they were invoiced by the Army or Marines before showing up?

    Now I’m wondering if the NFL really does care about breast cancer awareness? Or is it because they are getting a fat check from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer organization?

    Come on NFL, we’ve supported you. Why not give back, especially to those who help to keep America free and your pockets full!!!?

  14. A refund to the Feds? hahahaha man, thats a dream come true to those that already skim. That money will never be seen or accounted for.

    How about donating it to a, real, veteran, charity instead? I would say WW but they just got caught wasting tons of money.

  15. skunkb3ar says:
    May 19, 2016 5:05 PM

    MossMoon2Packers says:
    May 19, 2016 4:59 PM
    And, while the NFL is at it, it should stop airing pro-military advertisements/propaganda while the military is engaged mainly in defending the profits of Big Oil and the Military-Industrial Complex.
    ============================================

    There’s always that one guy…

    ========================

    … who knows what’s really happening
    … who isn’t fooled by the propaganda spewed by the militarists, corporatists and fake patriots
    … who doesn’t want 1 drop of a soldier’s blood spilled, or 1 tax-dollar spent, for the benefit of the greedy and evil people who own/run Big Oil companies and the Military-Industrial Complex

    Thanks!

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