Lawmakers Want To Stop “Paid Patriotism” Sports Event Displays

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., talk to reporters about “paid patriotism” during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015.The senator discussed a report on 'patriotism for profit' practices at pro sporting events, detailing 'widespread evidence of the Defense Department paying professional sports teams and leagues such as the NFL, MLB, and NHL to honor American soldiers at sporting events. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– A defense act in Washington to put a stop to paid patriotism.

This all comes after a new report is revealing that millions of taxpayer dollars was spent on patriotic displays at sporting events to thank members of the military.

It’s not uncommon to see patriotic displays at a football or baseball game, but this new report has found those displays are being paid for with your money and that’s not sitting well with some people – specifically several lawmakers in Washington.

The report found that the Department of Defense spent taxpayer money to sponsor performances of “God Bless America,” The National Anthem, recognition of hometown heroes, as well as tickets for luxury suites, signed autographs and cheerleader appearances.

In total, members of congress say $53 million has been spent to sponsor these events.

Related: Professional Sports Leagues Deny Charging for Military Tributes

Senator Richard Blumenthal is one of a handful of lawmakers introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would stop this from happening. Blumenthal will hold a news conference later Monday morning at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in New Haven demanding that this end.

Sports leagues and the teams say they did not charge for these patriotic displays, saying they were simply add ons to big marketing contracts. The NFL sent a letter to congress saying it’s launching an audit of its own and if it discovers that patriotic displays were paid for, they will refund the money.

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