Report: US military examining relationship with NFL

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is reportedly looking at the military's relationship with the NFL.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is reportedly looking at the military's relationship with the NFL. (USATSI)

The blowback against the NFL over the recent domestic violence incidents -- a pattern, if you will -- is growing and growing rather quickly. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported on a new sponsorship problem and the White House issued a stern edict to the NFL Friday morning about getting "a handle on" the problem.

Enter another branch of government: the military. According to CNN, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is asking his staff for "detailed information about the US military's relationships" with the NFL.

"The secretary wants to fully understand that relationship, in case he decides to make some changes to it," a senior defense official told CNN.

Putting the caveat of this being a little bit of public bluster for PR sake out there, this is a big deal for the NFL.

CNN reports "the Army alone spends some $10 million a year" on advertising with the NFL. 

Additionally, the military and the NFL are often symbolically linked. Flyovers, presentation of colors and singing of the national anthem utilize many different military personnel. 

"Many of these professional athletes are marketed as role models to young people," the official said. "So their behavior does have the potential to influence these young people. So that's one of the many reasons it's important the league gets a handle on this and have zero tolerance."

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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