RPT: Military Paid NFL Teams $5.4M to Salute Troops
The military reportedly paid 14 NFL teams to honor soldiers during football games.
Teams were paid $5.4 million over three years to salute troops, with a majority of the money coming from the National Guard.
The fourteen teams involved are:
- Atlanta Falcons - $1.05 million
- Baltimore Ravens - $884,500
- Buffalo Bills - $679,000
- Indianapolis Colts - $620,000
- Minnesota Vikings - $605,000
- Green Bay Packers - $600,000
- New York Jets - $377,500
- Kansas City Chiefs - $250,000
- Cincinnati Bengals - $138,960
- Dallas Cowboys - $62,500
- St. Louis Rams - $60,000
- Pittsburgh Steelers - $36,000
- Cleveland Browns - $22,500
- Miami Dolphins - $20,000
A NJ.com report focused on the Jets’ agreement with the Department of Defense and the New Jersey Guard.
The agreement includes the Hometown Hero segment, in which the Jets feature a soldier or two on the big screen, announce their names and ask the crowd to thank them for their service. The soldiers and three friends also get seats in the Coaches Club for the game.
Aside from the Hometown Heroes segment, the agreements also included advertising and marketing services, including a kickoff video message from the Guard, digital advertising on stadium screens, online advertising and meeting space for a meeting or events.
Also, soldiers attended the annual kickoff lunch in New York City to meet and take pictures with the players for promotional use, and the Jets allowed soldiers to participate in a charity event in which coaches and players build or rebuild a playground or park.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) called this an egregious and unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars.
“They realize the public believes they’re doing it as a public service or a sense of patriotism,” he said. “It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”
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