Paid Patriotism At Sporting Events Sparks Resentment

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DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth

After Sept. 11, professional sporting events experienced a surge of patriotic displays. But after more than 14 years of American troops engaged overseas, this pageantry has gone stale.


According to Will Bardenwerper, a former Army infantry officer writing for The Washington Post, “What began as spontaneous and genuine has gradually morphed into something that feels contrived.”

After senators John McCain and Jeff Flake released a report that revealed the Department of Defense gave professional sports teams $6.8 million since 2012 for “paid patriotism,” the pageantry of patriotism in athletics has become disingenuous.

What’s needed instead, “is an honest debate – especially in a presidential election year — about the cost of our wars and the benefits we hope to gain from being involved in them,” Bardenwerper writes.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Karl Munson pilots a 26-foot boat while Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Diaz keeps an eye on a boarding team who is inspecting a 79-foot shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of New Orleans, La., on April 27, 2005

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REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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George W. Bush/Instagram

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.

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