After reaching $5.9 million, and receiving some angry Tweets from me, the NFL finally shut off their counter.
Have you heard about the NFL’s “Salute to Service” campaign? Well, after the fallout from the un-American kneelers last year, the NFL took pains to promote their annual veteran’s day fundraiser. Unfortunately, this year’s fundraiser is a bit too good to be true and the NFL isn’t playing an honest hand either.
The Salute to Service campaign alleges that for every Tweet on Twitter using the hashtag #SaluteToService, the NFL will donate $25.00 on November 11th.
The reality is that they have already reached their maximum donation limit and not a penny more will be donated to charities that support troops that have returned home. On their website, you’ll notice that the maximum donation is listed in fine print and can be found in the terms of the promotion as well.
Now, this wouldn’t be such a big deal if it were not for one additional problem:
The NFL is pretending to donate more than $5 million. Right now, their website is displaying a donation tracker that continues to rise and is approaching the $5.5 million mark.
Now, the NFL doesn’t have to donate to veterans and it’s certainly admirable for them to send $5 million to these charities. The problem is their official donation tracker is continuing to tabulate Tweets that will never result in additional donations. In effect, the NFL is claiming to donate well over the amount they will eventually pay out to their partnered charities.
By the end of the day, the NFL website might appear to show $7 million or even $10 million. But that number just won’t reflect reality. What it will do is place in the minds of gullible Americans that NFL really, really, cares about the troops. But with this sort of sleight of hand, it’s hard to imagine that this stunt is anything other than a PR move in their eyes.
Oh, and of course the NFL is known for charging the Department of Defense for letting troops take part in halftime shows:
For years the NFL took millions from the armed forces for fake patriotic overtures. That’s right, the NFL made the Department of Defense fork over money in exchange for the league honoring active-duty military and veterans at games. Here’s an article from Scout documenting many of the payments to NFL teams:
“The Department of Defense offers a breakdown (below) of payments since 2011. Teams that received taxpayer funds include the Baltimore Ravens ($799,000), Cincinnati Bengals ($138,960) Cleveland Browns ($22,500), the Green Bay Packers ($600,000), Pittsburg Steelers, ($36,000) Minnesota Vikings ($605,000), Atlanta Falcons ($1,049,500) Indianapolis Colts ($620,000), Buffalo Bills ($679,000), Dallas Cowboys ($62,500), Miami Dolphins ($20,000), Kansas City Chiefs ($250,000), St. Louis Rams ($60,000), and the afore-mentioned Jets.”
So on this sacred day that honors American heroes for their willingness to sacrifice, don’t use the NFL’s hollow hashtag.
Speak your mind, support active-duty personnel and veterans to your fullest, but don’t give the NFL any more credit.
There’s only one reason to keep that counter running past $5 million: it’s great PR. The NFL doesn’t deserve that.
Tweet at Roger Goodell (@nflcommish) to ask him why he’s taking credit for a larger donation than the NFL partner charities will actually receiver.
And in the time it took to write this article, the counter has inched quite close to $6 million.