One of my main motivations for starting this blog was the indifference and hypocritical nature of the NFL and its teams. One of the sorriest examples of this was revealed in 2015, and came at the expense of the US Military, Tax Payers and our Military Veterans.
Last May it was reported up to 14 NFL teams accepted money from the Department of Defense as payment for marketing fees. The teams included the Jets, Falcons, Ravens, Bills, Bengals, Browns, Cowboys, Packers, Colts, Chiefs, Dolphins, Vikings, Steelers and Rams who all accepted money in exchange for “Patriotic” displays during games.
As a former US Marine, I found this to be disrespectful display of arrogance by the NFL. A complete slap in the face of every football fan, as well as the current and former military members. NFL teams who garner millions from hardworking Americans with expensive tickets, merchandise and concessions. Who take in millions from advertisers and build elaborate stadiums on the backs of taxpayers, couldn’t help themselves from taking even more. Thankfully the NFL has found some moral ground in 2016.
These false show cases of admiration and acknowledgment become nothing more than meaningless charades that allow the masses to feel fulfilled, and allow fans to watch their “Games” without a guilty conscience.
In a recent report the NFL has finalized an audit of marketing agreements from previous years. Roger Goodell, the much criticized commissioner of the NFL agreed to pay back over $700,000 to the US government. This announcement came in a letter to Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain, who were highly critical of the practices of teams accepting DOD payments.
At this time the NFL is the only major sports league who has agreed to a repayment. The NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL and NASCAR also received similar payments, but have yet to make an effort for repayment. The NFL and especially the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots were by far the biggest culprits.
A small win and move toward redemption for an all too forgotten minority in modern America….The Military Veteran.
Discarded and neglected is often the outcome for many veterans. What is even worse than being forgotten? Being recognized while the many issues and ailments military veterans face continue to be ignored. These false show cases of admiration and acknowledgment become nothing more than meaningless charades that allow the masses to feel fulfilled, and allow fans to watch their “Games” without a guilty conscience.
I applaud the NFL and Roger Goodell. Great job, its a start to a hopefully more committed awareness for our veterans.
In another piece of great news, the former Raider/ NY Giant and recently retired Justin Tuck took to challenging his former teams with the 22 pushup challenge.
For those who are unaware, the 22 pushup challenge is to help raise awareness to the epidemic of veteran suicide and its prevention efforts. Similar to the ALS ice bucket challenge, participates challenge friends via social media to the pushup challenge. Many military members and others have participated, posting videos online.
Tuck is a model for exemplary leadership and social awareness. Tuck was a mentor and dynamic player throughout his career, and has continued to show great character off the field. I am proud to say the Oakland Raiders were the first to answer the call, getting a little extra conditioning by doing 22 pushups as a team.
This is a great example of the power the NFL and its teams have. This is the right way to use that power, devoid of exploitation and backhanded graciousness.
Enjoy the video and take on the challenge #22PushUpChallenge. https://www.instagram.com/p/BFmj3ACpbHZ/?taken-by=therealjustintuck91