10/10/2017 1:44:00 PM Trump: Change the tax laws to punish NFL
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is suggesting the U.S. change its tax laws to punish organizations like the NFL if members are “disrespecting” the national anthem or flag.
The NFL gave up its federal tax-exempt status a few years ago and now files tax returns as a taxable entity. So it’s unlikely that Trump’s proposal, tweeted in the early hours Tuesday, would change anything.
Trump tweeted : “Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!”
Trump also tweeted Tuesday that ESPN ratings have “tanked” because of Jemele Hill, the anchor suspended for making political statements on social media.
While NFL viewership is down slightly, ESPN remains among the most popular cable networks, averaging 3 million viewers in prime time. The network has suffered subscriber losses over the last few years as some viewers have moved to streaming services from cable television.
Hill, an African-American co-host of the 6 p.m. broadcast of “SportsCenter,” received backlash last month after calling Trump a “white supremacist” in a series of tweets that referenced the president’s comments about a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
That comment prompted Trump to demand an apology from ESPN and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to call for Hill’s firing.
While ESPN took no formal action against Hill over the Trump comment, she did apologize to the network for the trouble her remarks had caused while standing by the tweets. ESPN cited that apology in announcing Hill’s suspension Monday , saying in a statement that ESPN employees had been “reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences.”
Hill targeted Jerry Jones on Twitter on Sunday after the Dallas Cowboys owner stated that players who disrespect the flag would not play for his team. She suggested fans who disagree with Jones should boycott the team’s advertisers and not buy the team’s merchandise.
She clarified Monday that she wasn’t calling for an NFL boycott.
Trump has praising Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for his stance against players protesting during the national anthem.
Trump on Twitter offered a "big salute" to Jones, who Trump says "will BENCH players who disrespect our Flag."
Trump writes that National League Football players should "Stand for Anthem or sit for game!"
On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence left an Indianapolis Colts game in protest after about a dozen San Francisco players kneeled during the anthem. Trump tweeted later that he had told Pence to leave if any players kneeled.
The President said Vice President Mike Pence's attendance at the 49ers-Colts game this weekend was "long planned."
The former Indiana governor flew in to Indianapolis so he could watch Peyton Manning's jersey retirement ceremony. But he did not stay long. Around kickoff, Pence wrote on Twitter that he left because he would not "dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem."