Roger Goodell said Wednesday that the NFL will refund the money it has received to conduct acts of “paid patriotism,” reports Eben Novy-Williams of Bloomberg News.
The NFL — along with several other professional sports leagues — has been accused of profiting from the events it puts on to honor US military members before and during games.
According to Arizona senators Jeff Flake and John McCain, the Pentagon has provided $9 million for staged patriotism events over the past four years.
“It is hard to understand how a team accepting taxpayer funds to sponsor a military appreciation game, or to recognize wounded warriors or returning troops, can be construed as anything other than paid patriotism,” a report by the Arizona Republicans said.
NFL teams were the biggest beneficiaries involved in the “paid patriotism” acts, as they were given over $6 million to conduct events involving full-field American flag displays, enlistment and re-enlistment ceremonies and reunions between service members and their families.
- Kayla Lombardo