Saturday, November 7, 2015

U.S. Military pays pro sports teams to honor troops as a recruiting tactic?

Below are some numbers for how much the United States Department of Defense paid local sports teams in recent years to honor military personnel at their games as part of marketing campaigns:

Here's a longer explanation from the Providence Journal, based on this "Tackling Paid Patriotism" report from Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.  The following quote from its introduction jumps out at me:

"By paying for such heartwarming displays like recognition of wounded warriors, surprise homecomings, and on-field enlistment ceremonies, these displays lost their luster. Unsuspecting audience members became the subjects of paid-marketing campaigns..."

Personally, I care less about the fact that the money comes from taxpayers, and more about how it "betrays the sentiment and trust of fans."  It's offensive to me that I should feel socially obligated to stand and cheer at games for something that is a paid advertisement.

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