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From 2011 to 2014, the government paid $5.4 million to 14 NFL teams, who have used some of the money to pay for costs associated with holding patriotic ceremonies and providing perks to military personnel attending the games, the report stated.
The report comes a week after Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R) called out the New Jersey National Guard for its spending agreements with the
"Those of us go to sporting events and see them honoring the heroes," Flake told NJ.com. "You get a good feeling in your heart. Then to find out they're doing it because they're compensated for it, it leaves you underwhelmed. It seems a little unseemly."
Flake said he supports efforts by the Armed Forces to recruit soldiers at football games, but he disagrees with the way it's being done.
"When the team is honoring the heroes, that's the action I think rubs people the wrong way," he said.
In 2011, the NFL launched its "Salute to Service" campaign, which honors military personnel during games. All proceeds from the campaign are donated to the NFL's three military-affiliated nonprofit partners, according to the league's website.
Jets spokesman Bruce Speight confirmed to NJ.com the team has received government money in recent years. He said the Jets worked with the New Jersey National Guard "to meet their specific objectives which in this case was recruitment and retention by targeting our fans and audience through media and stadium assets controlled by the team."