According to Christopher Baxter of New Jersey On-Line, recent documents acquired by his paper reveal that the Pittsburgh Steelers were one of 14 teams to receive payments from the Department of Defense in 2014.
Baxter’s Monday morning report shows that two payments were made to the Steelers, one for $9,000 from the Army in Ft. Knox and one for $27,000 from the Air Force for advertising last season. Additionally, both payments were made to the Steelers prior to the start of the 2014 season.
Baxter’s Monday report comes just a few days after U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) highlighted egregious and unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars by the New Jersey Army National Guard for payments it made to the New York Jets. In total, $5.4 million in taxpayer money was reportedly paid to the 14 NFL teams over the course of the past four seasons for patriotic displays, including $377,500 to the Jets.
In addition to the Steelers and Jets, the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, and St. Louis Rams also accepted money from the Department of Defense.
The National Guard has since defended their expenditures for advertisements, saying they are an effective recruitment tool for the service.
“Promoting and increasing the public’s understanding and appreciation of military service in the New Jersey Army National Guard increases the propensity for service in our ranks and garners public support for our Hometown Team,” Patrick Daugherty, a spokesman for the Guard said.
I imagine this will upset several taxpayers and I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of this. Some are wanting NFL teams to donate the money they received to veteran assistance programs and such. At some point I would imagine that several of the detailed advertising contracts will be found and passed along by the media.
Should the DOD have to pay for advertising? What about television commercial and print ads? Is this essentially what this was? It sort of sounds like it.