Senators sponsor bill to stop NFL from charging for patriotic tributes; but who gave them taxpayer money?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 11: A general view of the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome during pre game activity honoring the military November 11, 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Andy Clayton KIng/Getty Images)

Sen. John McCain said Thursday that he was “shocked” that NFL teams made a profit to honor American troops.

The Arizona Republican co-sponsored a Senate amendment blocking the Defense Department from spending taxpayer dollars honoring the military at sporting events.  Fellow Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake and Connecticut Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal also sponsored the amendment, The Hill reported Thursday.

“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,” MaCain said. “Taking money from the American taxpayers in exchange for honoring American troops.”

The three senators said in a statement, “We can’t afford to give scarce defense dollars to wealthy sports teams, and fans should have confidence that their hometown heroes are being honored on Sundays because of their honorable military service, not as an NFL marketing ploy.’

In a statement provided to The Hill, The NFL responded to the senators’ remarks.  “This amendment paints a completely distorted picture of the relationship between NFL teams and our military,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

“We agree that no one should be paid to honor our troops,” he 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.”

Twitter users expressed their outrage and cynicism about paying the NFL to honor American troops.

The NFL has always been a for-profit enterprise, so why would anyone be shocked that everything it does is to make money?

Steve Berman

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