Trump Tweets NFL Threat

Says tax laws should be changed to punish league for protests

President Donald Trump Tuesday threatened the NFL with trying to eliminate a long-standing tax break over the issue of players kneeling during the national anthem.

Vice President Mike Pence left a Colts-49ers game early over the weekend after some players took a knee. The president said later he had instructed the vice president to do so.

The NFL threat came in a tweet Tuesday, one of two related to television and sports (the other slammed ESPN for low ratings).

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

Given that the NFL no longer seeks tax exempt status, a reporter asked at the daily White House briefing what changes in the tax law the president envisioned.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders explained the tweet thusly: "The federal tax law doesn't apply, but we know that they receive tax subsidies on a variety of different levels... While the NFL may have given up its tax-exempt status a few years ago, it has been well documented that billions of taxpayer dollars continue to be spent on construction and renovation of professional sports stadiums. If this industry is going to use American taxpayers' money to build the very fields they play on, is it really too much to ask that they show respect for the American flag at the beginning of the game?"