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Weinberg Backs Christie In Calling For Jets To Return National Guard Money

TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- It was four years ago when Republican Gov. Chris Christie told reporters to "take the bat" to now 80-year-old Democratic state Sen. Loretta Weinberg.

But Weinberg took the rare step Wednesday of agreeing with the governor, who has called for the Jets to return money paid by the National Guard for promotional ads and perks for soldiers.

"If we're actually paying the New York Jets franchise for saluting the troops, then that would be very disappointing," Christie said Tuesday on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

"There's something really so untoward about a football team accepting money or even a state national guard offering money to honor their troops," Weinberg told WCBS 880's Levon Putney,

According to, federal records show the Jets were paid $377,000 by the U.S. Department of Defense and New Jersey Army National Guard from 2011-14 to salute local servicemen and women during games at MetLife Stadium. As part of the agreement, soldiers also attended various team functions, including charity events and an annual preseason luncheon.

Weinberg Backs Christie In Calling For Jets To Return National Guard Money

In total, 14 NFL franchises got $5.4 million from taxpayers over the four-year span in arrangements meant to boost military recruitment, according to

While some believe the Jets have been disingenuous in their commitment to the troops, the franchise is pointing toward its charitable record.

"The New York Jets have consistently supported all five branches of the U.S. armed forces – independent of and unrelated to any sponsorship relationship — by participating in many programs which honor their service and sacrifice to our country," the team said in a statement to the New York Daily News.

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