Trump Warns NFL Of Possible Tax Law Penalty For National Anthem Protests
Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to impose federal tax law to castigate the NFL over players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.
Trump Threatens NFL news
In one of several tweets the President fired off Tuesday morning, he urged Congress to repeal a law that has permitted the NFL central office to avoid paying taxes as a nonprofit organization.
“Why is the N.F.L. getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country?” Trump wrote. “Change tax law!”
Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
National anthem protests continued in the NFL this weekend, with Philadelphia Eagles players Jalen Mills and Dexter McDougle being among the players who knelt.
In another tweet, Trump also took aim at ESPN host Jemele Hill, who was suspended for two weeks on Monday after violating the network’s social media guidelines. Hill — who called the President a “white supremacist” on Twitter last month — suggested on Monday that fans boycott Dallas Cowboys advertisers after owner Jerry Jones threatened to bench players who knelt during the anthem.
“With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have ‘tanked,’ in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!” Trump tweeted.
This latest Twitter-storm by the President follows the revelation on Monday that Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to Indianapolis to watch the Colts play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday cost taxpayers at least $240,000. Pence — who flew in from Las Vegas — left the game after expressing his own disappointment over national anthem protests.
The NFL’s tax exemption has long proved controversial. The league’s 32 teams are for-profit businesses that pay taxes accordingly, although the central office was established as a non-profit entity. In response to the backlash, the NFL in 2015 voluntarily surrendered its tax-exempt status, citing a “distraction.”
Joe Lockhart, the N.F.L. spokesman, was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday morning.
According to the New York Times, “Sports teams have benefited in other ways under tax law. Many franchises have built new stadiums in cooperation with cities and states that floated bonds to finance construction. Municipal bonds are exempt from federal taxes, leading critics to complain that taxpayers are subsidizing profitable private businesses.”
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 17: Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles holds his fist in the air while Chris Long #56 of the Philadelphia Eagles puts his arm around him during the national anthem prior to the preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at Lincoln Financial Field on August 17, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)