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San Diego Chargers Among Teams Paid For Military Tributes

Military personnel haul a giant flag onto he field before the Charges play the Detroit Lions in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in San Diego.
Associated Press
Military personnel haul a giant flag onto he field before the Charges play the Detroit Lions in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in San Diego.

San Diego Chargers Among Teams Paid For Military Tributes
The California National Guard paid the Chargers $453,500 in 2013 and 2014, a U.S. Senate report revealed.

A U.S. Senate report shows the Pentagon paid $6.8 million for patriotic displays. Most of the money went to NFL teams, including the Chargers.

They are a staple of professional sports around the country — flag presentations and color guard ceremonies, paying tribute to men and women in the military. Beginning earlier in the year, Congress started raising questions over why some professional sports teams were actually being paid for those tributes.

A new report by Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake, shows how much the government spent. The California National Guard paid the Chargers $453,500 in 2013 and 2014. Among the things the report says the guard received in return, was a flag presentation at five home games. In 2013, they paid for a color guard presentation.

The Guard didn’t renew the contract for this year, according to the report.

In July, the NFL issued a letter, discouraging teams from taking money for on-field tributes. In a separate letter contained in the report, Commissioner Roger Goodell lists some of the charitable work the NFL has done on behalf of veterans and the military, including unpaid appearances by players both in the United States and overseas. Teams were paid with recruiting dollars.

The San Diego Padres were not among the 10 major league baseball teams that received money.