While we know that a volunteer military has to advertise to gain recruits, advertising is usually identifiable as such. But team outpourings of patriotic fervor: the “hometown hero” demonstrations on the fields before and during games, the flyovers, the hilariously large flags and so on… are they just another expression of the tribalism that is sports fandom?
When a magazine or newspaper publishes long-form content that is written by an advertiser, they label it as such so the reader can understand the dividing line between the editorial and business sides of what’s in the book. We can assume that visible name-brands in TV shows and movies are paid for by the advertisers: apparently nobody in Portland has ever heard of Windows, if you believe Grimm, while in New York no one uses Apple, according to Elementary. But these shows mention their deals with Apple and Microsoft in the credits.
Not so your typical NFL game, although perhaps they should:
This is doubly unethical: we expect even private companies to disclose these arrangements, though they arguably have more of a right not to. But we’re asked to accept a certain level of openness amd integrity from sports events, yet taxpayer funds spent on these “advertorial” segments are routinely not disclosed.
Sports, militarism and toxic masculinity are all probably bound for all eternity in a testosterone-fueled Celtic knot, but at least we can demand some honesty in how tax dollars are used to subsidize it.