Donald Trump Rips NFL's 'Massive Tax Breaks,' Calls for Law Change Amid Protests

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 10, 2017

President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing with Senior Military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. Sitting on the left is Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning regarding the NFL and the tax breaks it receives.

Trump called for the league to no longer receive tax breaks due to the fact that some players protest during the national anthem:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!

Jay Busbee of Yahoo Sports delved deeper into Trump's criticism of the league's tax status. Per Busbee, the league office was once tax-exempt, but it gave up that status in 2015.

Individual teams pay federal taxes on all revenue, and the league itself generated only $9 million in tax-exempt revenue in 2014 prior to forfeiting tax-exempt status.

The NFL's Joe Lockhart reiterated that in a statement Tuesday, via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, saying, “As most of you know, the NFL gave up its tax-exempt status in 2015. ... The idea that we receive a tax break is not true.”

Trump has been a vocal opponent of players kneeling during the anthem, and he commented on the matter last month during a rally in Alabama: "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!'"

Following Trump's speech, there was a significant uptick in anthem demonstrations across the NFL during Week 3.

United States Vice President Mike Pence attended a game between the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but left after some players knelt during the anthem:

Vice President Mike Pence @VP

I stand with @POTUS Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem. https://t.co/B0zP5M41MQ

Trump later praised Pence for his decision:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.

Anthem demonstrations first became a hot topic of conversation in the NFL last season when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the first player to partake.

Many players across the NFL have followed suit by kneeling, sitting or raising a fist during the playing of the anthem.

While the NFL doesn't regulate anthem demonstrations on a league-wide level, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced Sunday that he won't permit players to play if they don't stand for the anthem.


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