Senate Votes to Block Pentagon Paying Millions to NFL to ‘Honor Troops’

NFL Complains the Amendment 'Distorts' Relationship With Military

The Senate today voted in favor of a bill which will bar the Pentagon from giving taxpayer money to NFL teams or other sports franchises in return for them “honoring the troops” during their games.

Reports of the “Patriotism for Profit” program emerged last month, with the revelations that 14 NFL teams had received $5.4 million in return for timeout displays of thanking troops for their service. This was quickly condemned by several top Congressmen.

The three Senators who pushed this bill, Sens. John McCain (R – AZ), Jeff Flake (R – AZ), and Richard Blumenthal (D – CT) issued a statement saying that the US could not afford to give “scarce defense dollars to wealthy sports teams,” decrying the program as a “marketing ploy.”

The NFL, the apparent primary beneficiaries of this program, criticized the bill, saying it was a “distorted picture” of the long-standing relationship between the military and professional football. A spokesman went on to insist the programs to “honor the troops” would continue even if the money stopped.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.