Trump calls for tax changes for NFL following national anthem protests
American President Donald Trump has questioned the tax breaks that the National Football League (NFL) receives, amid the national anthem protests that have swept the league.
"Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!" Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.
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
Trump’s tweet came a day after US Vice President Mike Pence walked out of the NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, where roughly 20 players kneeled during the national anthem. Pence later said that he “will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our flag, or our national anthem.”
Trump then also took to Twitter, saying that he had asked Pence to walk out of the stadium if the game saw any anthem protests.
“I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country,” he tweeted.
“I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen,” added Trump.
However, Trump’s latest comments are not the first time he has weighed in on the issue.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” he said during a speech at a rally in Alabama at the end of September.
The national anthem protest movement, launched by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began to kneel during the anthem before his team's games, later spread throughout the NFL and other sports leagues in the US.
Last weekend, NHL player J.T. Brown of the Tampa Bay Lightning became the first ice-hockey player to join the protests, when he raised his fist during the national anthem before the regular season game with the Florida Panthers.