Demand the National Football League Stop Taking Money From Our Troops

Service members from all five military branches unfurl the national ensign during ceremonies prior to Sunday's football game between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions at Soldier Field in Chicago, Nov. 10, 2013. Pregame and halftime ceremonies helped pay tribute to veterans in commemoration of Veterans Day. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf)

Target: Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League (NFL)

Goal: Tell the National Football League to stop charging the Army National Guard for its televised tributes to the men and women who have served in behalf of the US nation.

For the last four years there have been small segments in National Football League games paying special tributes to the United States veterans who have served on our nations behalf. Recently, Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Waiters stepped forward to criticize the NFL for charging the National Guard over $5.4 million so far for these tributes. The military responded to Sergeant Walter’s complaint by explaining in defense that these tributes are a useful recruiting tool, arguably missing the point.

Football has been known to bring Americans together and has been deeply interlaced into the very fabric of our culture, so it’s nice that a portion of the show is dedicated to the men and women who have served to protect our nation over the years. The situation could be seen as a win-win to some, but we are in the middle of a budget crisis and rising national security threats. We simply don’t have the money to take millions of dollars out of critical areas of the government to pay the richest sports league on the planet.

The Jets, Falcons, Ravens, Bills, Bengals, Browns, Packers, Colts, Chiefs, Vikings, Steelers, Cowboys, Dolphins, and Rams have been paid millions of dollars individually by the National Guard on multiple accounts, and an additional $1,266,000 of our taxpayer dollars have been set aside for the NFL during the next fiscal year. If these tributes are to continue in the coming seasons, they should be done on a charitable basis and not in the fashion of a taxpayer funded marketing ploy.

Honoring the troops and keeping morale high in a very bruised and sensitive country can be a good idea, but it shouldn’t pay wealthy NFL executives and athletes from the pockets of the troops and other hard working Americans. Please sign the petition below to demand that the NFL stop charging the Army National Guard for these televised tributes if they are to continue.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Roger Goodell,

As the Commissioner of the National Football League, you are aware that you have charged the National Guard over 5.4 million dollars throughout the past four years for in-game ceremonies honoring the men and women who have served our country.

The United States is in the middle of a serious budget crisis among a rapidly rising level of national security threats, and the very affluent NFL should not be exasperating the problem.

If the NFL is going to continue to pay tribute to veterans during games, it should be done charitably and at no cost to our military. American taxpayers already pay your salaries in many other ways, which should be appreciated instead of robbing them blindly to thank the men and women who defend their freedom to watch football in the first place.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf

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