In a lengthy monologue on Friday’s broadcast of ESPN2’s Olbermann, host Keith Olbermann took NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to school over the recent revelation that the National Football League has taken millions of dollars from the US military to promote the armed forces of this country. Over the past few years, it has been estimated that the NFL has received $5.4 million since 2011 to ‘honor’ members of the military at games and other events. As Olbermann pointed out, the main issue isn’t that the league took money, but that it pretended that it was honoring the soldiers out of true patriotism rather than love of money.
The former MSNBC political commentator previously discussed the issue when it first became a news item last week. In the meantime, the league has dealt with the fallout of the DelfateGate scandal, what with the New England Patriots getting hit with a $1 million fine and loss of draft picks and quarterback Tom Brady being dealt a four-game suspension. In fact, the announcement of the penalties came at the perfect time as the story about the NFL receiving payment to honor soldiers came out right before the punishments were handed down.
The ex-SportsCenter anchor ripped into Goodell for the transparency of his actions. Olbermann has not been shy about his disdain for the commissioner, claiming on many occasions that Goodell should resign. After reading from an article that tore the league apart on the issue, Olbermann ended his segment — the last one before Memorial Day — by saying the following:
The teams, of course, will do none of that. Hell, the commissioner won’t even address this. And he won’t address the greater philosophical issue…we as sports fans, we as Americans, standing idly by as the military gives $50 million a year of our money to sports franchises, including NFL teams to stage salutes to troops and vets that they might not have otherwise been staging. And that money goes to a fake paid hollow patriotism and into NFL profits instead of, I don’t know, say body armor for troops, or veterans’ hospitals, or jobs for these guys just back from the fighting!
Commissioner Goodell, haven’t you got anything to say about this? Not even on Memorial Day weekend? Shame on you.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of ESPN: