Pro-military displays during NFL football games are virtually ubiquitous these days and nowhere is that more apparent that at a New York Jets home-game, where the team singles out soldiers on the big screen and admonishes the crowd to cheer them.
The “Hometown Hero” segment might seem like just lazy pandering to jingoism among hometown fans, but it’s not. The Jets, like many NFL teams, are actually getting paid by the Pentagon to do it.
Between direct Pentagon funding and the National Guard, 14 NFL teams have received $5.4 million over the past 4 seasons to pay them to hold these pro-military segments.
The National Guard is defending the cost as a “recruiting” expense, though much like the similar NASCAR bankrolling, there is little sign that they have yielded results.