Last year, we learned that the NFL and other sports leagues had received millions of dollars from the Department of Defense in "pay-for-patriotism" displays. Yesterday, we saw the power fans wield when they work together to right a wrong. In this case, it was a particularly egregious wrong.
The pay-for-patriotism scandal involved 72 contracts the NFL, NHL, MLS, and MLB signed with the Department of Defense to "sponsor" things like the singing of God Bless America, the recognition of service men and women during the game, and pre-game flag displays and flyovers.
We love recognizing those who serve our country. We were appalled league owners charged U.S. taxpayers to do so, and that they would use our men and women in uniform, and the fans' patriotism, as a marketing ploy.
So the Sports Fans Coalition started a petition demanding the NFL return all pay-for-patriotism money, and pledge not to take any in the future.
The petition received more than 35,000 signatures, and sent a clear message to NFL owners that we're going to hold them accountable.
Shortly after our petition launched, Roger Goodell said the NFL would conduct an audit into its pay-for-patriotism finances.
Then Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, with an amendment supported by SFC that called for sports leagues to stop taking money to honor our troops.
And finally, yesterday, the NFL announced the results of its audit, and the return of $720,000 received from inappropriate pay-for-patriotism schemes.
This is a huge win for fans everywhere, but we aren't done with this issue. The other leagues that profited on the backs of our military must be held accountable. Send your messages today demanding an audit and the return of pay-for-patriotism profits.
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