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McCain, Flake Push For End To Military Paying NFL To Honor Troops

WASHINGTON  — The New England Patriots got $675,000 from the Army National Guard to pay for honoring American troops.

The Super Bowl champion wasn't the only NFL team with a profitable Pentagon contract the past three years to finance those color guard ceremonies and flag rollouts. The NFL received $7 million over three years from contracts with the guard.

The Atlanta Falcons got $579,500; the Denver Broncos received $460,000.

Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake and Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal want the practice to end. They won Senate approval Thursday for a prohibition on the contracts, arguing that wealthy teams shouldn't be receiving taxpayer dollars when the military faces cuts in spending.

Sen. McCain took to the Senate floor Thursday to chastise several NFL teams including the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and New York Jets.

"What makes these expenditures all the more troubling is at the same time the Guard was spending millions on pro-sports advertising, it was running out of money for critical training for our troops," said McCain.

McCain and Flake are calling on teams to donate their “ill-gotten profits” to charities supporting troops, veterans and their families.

The measure was added to a sweeping defense policy bill the Senate expects to complete next week.

Associated Press