Senate to stop NFL teams from being paid to support troops

U.S. service members greet and shake hands of Chiefs and Seahawks fans at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

Senator John McCain from Arizona added an amendment to the defense budget that would halt any more federal dollars from being given to the NFL in order to honor the troops.

As reported by Missourinet, McCain said, “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 so to make an extra buck.”

McCain said that NFL franchises are extremely wealthy and should not be the recipients of any taxpayer money.

The U.S. Senate officially added the amendment by voice vote to the policy bill, according to USA Today.

In addition, this amendment also requires the NFL to give funds to charities. They are required to give an amount that is equal to what they were paid to show their support to the troops.

McCain said, “The NFL raked in revenues totaling some $9.5 billion. The absolute least they can do to begin to make up for this misjudgment is to return those taxpayer dollars to charities supporting our troops, veterans, and military families.”

The senator also stated, “At the same time the [National] Guard was spending millions on pro sports advertising, it was also running out of money for critical training for our troops. At the end of fiscal year 2014, the National Guard Bureau and Army National Guard announced they were facing $101 million shortfall in the account used to pay National Guardsmen and could force a delay in critical training and drills because they couldn’t afford to pay soldiers.”

The Kansas City Chiefs were paid a quarter of a million dollars to show their support for the U.S. military forces in the last four years. The New England Patriots were paid $675,000. Some of the other NFL franchises that received payments were the St. Louis Rams ($60,000), the Atlanta Falcons ($579,500), and the Denver Broncos ($460,000).

The NFL teams were paid for flag rollouts, performances by color-guards, and other types of events that showed support for U.S. troops.

The U.S. Senate will continue its debate of the budget authorization bill and is expected to complete work on the bill sometime next week.

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