NFL to Reimburse Taxpayers $720K for ‘Paid Patriotism'

Two Arizona senators had led the charge for reimbursement

The NFL is reimbursing U.S. taxpayers more than $720,000 in so-called "paid patriotism" money that the teams took from the military to allow things like color guard displays at football games, NBC News reports.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in a letter to two U.S. senators, said an audit uncovered that, over four years, $723,734 "may have been mistakenly applied to appreciation activities rather than recruitment efforts."

"This amount will be promptly returned in full to the taxpayers," he wrote Wednesday to Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona, who have led the charge against the practice.

"These recruitment efforts are intended to be separate and apart from the NFL's longstanding support of the service members and families who have dedicated their lives to serving this great country," Goodell wrote.

Flake and McCain, both Republicans, revealed in November that up to $6.8 million had been paid "inappropriately" to professional and college sports teams to allow patriotic displays at games.

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