Pimping out the Military

Miliitary Thank you

As if the NFL wasn’t knee-deep in dookey already.

Now comes a report that they charged the military millions to “pay tribute” to the troops.

According to Military.com, this has been a common practice:

  • The Guard paid NFL teams $5.6 million in 2013 and 2014. This year, the Guard is spending $4.1 million on advertising through sporting events. That includes $1.2 million in payments to NFL teams. The Super Bowl-champion Patriots got the most at $225,000, with the Indianapolis Colts ($200,000) and Miami Dolphins ($160,000) close behind.

Let’s be clear about where those millions come from – you, the taxpayer.

I cannot begin to put into words how upsetting this is for me, a Gold Star daughter.

To charge the military for the “opportunity” to honor veterans and their families is so egregious. It violates everything that it means to honor someone. There is absolutely nothing honorable about what the NFL has done.

Nothing.

What the NFL has done, in essence, is made the military their pimps. Dressed them up. Put them on display. Made the audience members all teary-eyed.

The NFL and military both claim this is a good recruiting tool.

Excuse me?

You’d think parading wounded soldiers around the 50-yard line or hosting Gold Star families in premium seating would dissuade anyone from joining the military.

The whole concept nauseates me. But then again, I suppose a culture that thinks nothing of exploiting a crucified Christ as a means to build wealth, wouldn’t think twice about doing the same to a veteran amputee. 

The shareholders and team owners ought to be taken out the woodshed, preferably by a team of mad-as-hell Army Rangers.

 

Karen Spears Zacharias is author of After the Flag has been Folded (William Morrow).

 

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

7 Comments

Jeanette

about 2 years ago

I'm speechless.... :\

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 years ago

As we all should be

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AFRoger

about 2 years ago

"Follow the money, " the saying goes. The NFL is about one thing: promoting the NFL. The NFL Commissioner's ANNUAL salary says about all we need to know. Forty. Four. Million. Dollars. Per. Year.... I would have to work a millennium, one THOUSAND years, at the highest rate of pay I ever had to earn what this one man gets paid in a SINGLE year. But I guess the vast majority of people are perfectly OK with that since the NFL isn't in danger of going out of business anytime soon.

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AFRoger

about 2 years ago

Part of the fallout of having the convenient "all volunteer" military. When the military has to advertise and when pay rates have to become more competitive with the private sector, when people choose military service because jobs are few and far between where they live, at what point does it cease to be an all-volunteer force and instead become a mercenary force? It's easier to support taxes if someone else pays, much easier to be pro-military if it's always someone else who serves. But hey, here's an idea... If corporations are people, then they should volunteer, too. Oh, I forgot. They already do. We have the Nike Oregon Ducks, the Google NSA. Might as well have the BP U.S. Navy and InBev USMC. Gotta hand it to the NFL. They figured out how to "volunteer" with the National Guard but turn it into a reverse mortgage.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 years ago

People have always "chosen" military because a lack of better opportunities, which is why rural whites and urban blacks made up so much of the "volunteer" military previously. Now, I suspect those demographics have changed to include far more Latinos.

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Justin

about 2 years ago

Once again we are shocked by our government's inability to spend tax payer's money wisely. I have discovered that when a big organization say they support the troops there is usually something for them to gain from it. It's rarely authentic. There are some, but few that actually do things as gestures from the heart. Our country is changing quickly and the idea of service to others and honesty is quickly disappearing.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 years ago

I guess I thought these displays were genuine, Justin. Sometimes it seems we don't differ much than North Korea when it comes to military matters.

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