|11-03-2015, 12:02 PM||#1|
helmet to helmet hitter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Arlington, TX
Pentagon is Paying Pro Sports Teams for Patriotism
Patriotism, it seems, is now a commodity to the NFL and other pro sports leagues. Everything from the national anthem to ceremonies honoring US soldiers or vets and military advertising are being paid for by taxpayer dollars in publically funded stadiums by the Pentagon. Congress has been looking at the issue as well...
Patriotism in sports is a federally funded facade
Nicholas Work, opinions editor
Patriotism in sports is a federally funded facade - Opinion - COLLEGIATETIMES
Beginning in 1868 as Decoration Day in honor of fallen union soldiers in the American Civil War, Memorial Day has been observed on the last Monday in May in the United States ever since, commemorating and honoring all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and died in protection of our freedom.
Memorial day is a somber and solemn day for all those connected to the military, especially the families of lost soldiers. At the same time, it gives the country a chance to reflect on and praise the heroic actions of all those serving in America’s armed forces. Perhaps no place is this more evident than in sports.
Before every sporting event in this country, from little league baseball to the Super Bowl, every game is preceded with the playing of our national anthem and unveiling of our flag. At big televised sporting events, local members of the armed forces are often brought out in a show of appreciation, creating a grand spectacle complete with everything from fireworks to fighter jet flyovers. It is truly a sight to be held.
However some recent investigative reporting has brought to light a very different picture. All the patriotism and pride shown in these spectacular moments: the smiling faces of the soldiers accepting their well deserved applause, the panoramic images of a stadium engulfed in our nations colors as pyrotechnics light the sky in celebration, are in fact a purchased commodity.
It is a product fabricated by the government using your tax dollars to pay professional sports teams to stage patriotic events in the name of recruiting more men and women into our nations armed forces.
Earlier this month Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) posted a press release exposing that the New Jersey National Guard had paid the New York Jets of the NFL around $100,000 to allow soldiers to be on the sidelines and take photos with players as well as be recognized on the jumbo-tron as a “Hometown Hero.” As shocking as this revelation is it gets incredibly worse.
Investigative reporting by Christopher Baxter of NJ.com reveals that the National Guard actually paid $377,500 to the New York Jets over the last four seasons for these recognitions, and more damningly, the Department of Defense paid nearly $6 million of taxpayer money to 16 NFL teams between 2011-2014.
A report by Keith Olbermann of ESPN on his eponymous nightly TV show with the help of ESPN business and legal analyst, Darren Rovell, revealed that the Department of Defense and the National Guard had an advertising budget for sporting events of over $49 million tax payer dollars in 2014, $32 million alone for sponsoring Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NASCAR racing team.
The Government and DOD try to rationalize this payment by stating that with an all volunteer military in this country they must do some sort of promotional advertising. But that statement circumvents the issue of this “Pre-Paid Patriotism” as Olbermann eloquently called it.
The problem is not paying for advertising. Nobody questions the ethics of the military paying advertising directors to produce the “Army Strong” and “The Few, The Proud, The Marines” commercials we see on television. If that process rightfully amounts to $50 million dollars, so be it.
I have zero issue with spending tax dollars, indeed a large amount of tax dollars, towards helping current and former United States military personnel. If they wanted to apply $50 million towards a program to provide veterans with stable employment upon retirement, or to improve the status of our dismal VA Hospital network, or to provide additional support to families of those deployed, by all means lets do so.
But for the Federal government to spend $50 million dollars of taxpayer money to sports teams that already make millions of dollars, for doing something they should do out of admiration and thanks in the first place is disgusting, especially in such a secretive manner.
The NFL teams and every other sporting entity involved should have displayed honor and patriotism free of bribery or payment in the first place. Furthermore, the Federal government must find a better use for $50 million than paying private businesses to stage respect for our troops. They should spend it on something that will actually help them, because not doing so is only insulting the soldier being paraded as a marketing tool on center field.
|11-03-2015, 12:20 PM||#2|
Join Date: Aug 2001
I was surprised to learn that payments were involved with the NFL in regards to the Military marketing program. I just figured it was a quid pro quo arrangement. Those Military aircraft flyovers are pretty sweet for entertainment purposes.
Interesting... thx for posting.
|11-03-2015, 01:31 PM||#3|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Sep 2013
I think this all came out last year. And it's not systemic. Only a few classless organizations were involved.
The Broncos do all of these same patriotic gestures, but do not get paid for it.