White House backs NFL rule change requiring players to stand for anthem

The White House on Tuesday encouraged the National Football League to change its rules to make it mandatory for players to stand for the national anthem.

“I think we would certainly support the NFL coming out and asking players to stand,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

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“Our position hasn’t changed on that front,” Sanders said. “We’re glad to see the NFL taking positive steps in that direction.”

The league is reportedly considering tougher rules on the anthem. Its current policy asks players to stand for the anthem, but only allows for possible disciplinary measures if players are not on the field.

President Trump has called any player who kneels for the anthem in protest a "son of a bitch" and said they should be forced out of the league.

He has also claimed credit for Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSome WH aides anxious over Russia probe despite reassurances from Trump lawyer: report Paul Krugman unwittingly fulfills fiscal fantasies for Republicans Ex-Pence aide on Rosie: She promised to leave US if Trump won and she's still here MORE's decision to leave an Indianapolis Colts game last weekend after some San Francisco 49ers players knelt during "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Trump earlier Tuesday called for the end of tax subsidies for NFL stadiums if teams don't demand that players stand for the anthem.

NFL players have slammed the president's comments and accused him of belittling the purpose of the anthem protest: speaking out against police brutality and racial injustice against African-Americans.