As the saying goes, "nothing in life is free" and, unfortunately enough, that seems to be true even when it comes to military tributes.
In a letter released on Thursday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said an audit revealed the NFL had been paid over $723,000 in taxpayer money by the Defense Department to host patriotic celebrations at games and that the league would refund the money. The letter was addressed to Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, authors of a study that last year brought the practice to light.
The payments were intended for recruitment efforts at games, such enlistment booths. Instead, however, much of the money was being used to stage events to honor the troops which, as the taxpayers were the ones picking up the bill, was a bit of a problem.
When you see returning troops surprsing their families? Yeah, that was paid for. As real as it was for the families, the NFL evidently wasn't just doing it out of the goodness of its heart.