in New Jersey.
Between 2011 and 2014, the Department of Defense paid more than $5 million to NFL teams for promotions and advertising, including on-field military salutes during games. Fourteen teams charged the DOD to promote the Army, Air Force and National Guard.
The Chiefs were one of those teams. According to federal records, the Chiefs submitted two invoices of $125,000 each to the Department of Defense in 2011. We e-mailed the Chiefs inquiring where that money went; we'll update this post if we hear back. UPDATE
: In a statement to The Kansas City Star
, a Chiefs representative said, "The Kansas City Chiefs had a partnership with the Missouri National Guard in 2011. The agreement was for one year and was strictly for promotional and advertising elements."
The other teams who charged the federal government to promote U.S. armed forces: the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers and St. Louis Rams. The Rams' bill to the DOD was only $60,000. The Falcons were paid over a million dollars.
In an interview with the Star-Ledger
, Jeff Flake, a Republican U.S. senator from Arizona, questioned the ethics of the arrangement.
"Those of us go to sporting events and see them honoring the heroes," Flake said. "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."
Those heartwarming military tributes you sometimes see at NFL games? Taxpayers are footing the bill for those, according to a recent report from the