US Defense Department paid 14 NFL teams $5.4M to use games to recruit

Which NFL teams got your federal tax dollars?



By Christopher Baxter | NJ Advance Media for
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on May 07, 2015 at 1:17 PM, updated May 14, 2015 at 4:11 PM
TRENTON — At the same time Congress and the president have imposed caps on military spending, the Department of Defense has paid at least $6 million in taxpayer money to 16 NFL teams across the country, including $377,500 to the Jets, with the bulk spent by the National Guard.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz) last week called outthe New Jersey Army National Guard for the spending, which, in part, paid for a segment at Jets home games in which soldiers were featured on the big screen, thanked for their service and given tickets to the game.

Flake said most in the general public believe the segments were heartfelt salutes by their hometown football team, not an advertising campaign paid for with their money. The Guard defended the arrangement as an effective recruitment tool for the force, and the Jets pointed out numerous other ways in which they support the military.

A New Jersey senator has since called for NFL teams that received the money to donate it to charity in support of veterans.

And Gov. Chris Christie chimed in Tuesday, saying the Jets should pay back the money that went specifically toward the salutes.

Here’s a full list of NFL teams that have received taxpayer money from the military for similar arrangements (updated 5/14 with more contracts):


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