Boomer Esiason blasts Star-Ledger, NY Post, & News over NY Jets / Military pay 'non-story' | Bob's Blitz

Boomer Esiason blasts Star-Ledger, NY Post, & News over NY Jets / Military pay 'non-story'

The Daily News Andy Clayton, Eli Rosenberg, & Bill Hutchinson write in Report: Jets among NFL teams paid to salute soldiers during home games, "In a shocking revelation, the Jets have been exposed for providing patriotism for pay." Adding:

The Department of Defense and the New Jersey National Guard doled out $377,000 to the team over the last four seasons to honor military members at MetLife Stadium games, according to federal contracts obtained by The Star-Ledger of Newark. Christopher Baxter and Jonathan D. Salant reports:

The Department of Defense and the Jersey Guard paid the Jets a total of $377,000 from 2011 to 2014 for the salutes and other advertising, according to federal contracts. Overall, the Defense Department has paid 14 NFL teams $5.4 million during that time, of which $5.3 million was paid by the National Guard to 11 teams under similar contracts.

“It strikes me as unseemly that these teams realize the public believes they’re honoring these service members as a public service,” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said in a statement Sunday to the Daily News.

“So to find out they’re doing it because they’re being compensated leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” said Flake, who slammed the practice as a waste of taxpayer money.

The News reached out to the NYJ, who responded:

The Jets went on defense Sunday, telling The News the team has been very active in supporting the troops out of its own pocket.

“The New York Jets have consistently supported all five branches of the U.S. armed forces – independent of and unrelated to any sponsorship relationship — by participating in many programs which honor their service and sacrifice to our country,” the Jets told The News in a statement.

The Jets noted they recently donated $1 million to Building for America’s Bravest, an organization that constructs smart homes for catastrophically injured service members.

Patrick Daugherty, a spokesman for the New Jersey National Guard, justified the deal with the Jets as being valuable for advertising and recruiting.

“Promoting and increasing the public’s understanding and appreciation of military in the New Jersey Army National Guard increases the propensity for service in our ranks and garners public support for our Hometown Team,” Daugherty said in a statement.

Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.) also said “it’s money well spent.”

“People watching the NFL are generally inclined to be pro-military,” King told The News. “As far as the Jets, in addition to whatever money they’ve gotten from the (Department of Defense), I do know they are very actively engaged with veterans. The Jets do far more on balance than they get paid for."

The Posts Joe Tacopino chimed in, "The Pentagon’s taxpayer bucks to the Jets buy a “Hometown Hero” segment, where a soldier or two is shown on the big screen. Their names are blared through the stadium as the crowd is asked to thank them for their service.
The soldiers get sideline seats in the Coaches Club."

WFAN co-host Boomer Esiason called it a “total non-story” considering New York’s reported donation to Building for America’s Bravest — a Tunnel to Towers Foundation program that constructs smart homes for badly injured vets — which was worth nearly three times what the club received in the promo deal.
“This is just another swipe (at the Jets),” Esiason said Monday morning on the “Boomer & Carton” show. “Why isn’t the headline, ‘Jets make $1 million donation’? Why isn’t that the headline?”

Because the Jets are the only business in the world not allowed to benefit from military-cum-government contracts.

At least according to your local headline / lede writers.



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