NFL owners to consider whether players should have to stand for anthem
NFL owners will reportedly consider a rule change at a meeting next week that would require players to stand for the national anthem at football games.
An NFL spokesman said Tuesday that owners will have a chance to review the current policy, which encourages players to stand for the anthem but doesn’t make it mandatory.
NFL spox Joe Lockhart: owners’ in fall mtgs next week to have a chance to discuss anthem issue, look at policy, and if need to change it
— Ryan Smith (@ryansmithtv) October 10, 2017
NFL’s Joe Lockhart: pic.twitter.com/xd6c7KBX3S
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) October 10, 2017
President Trump sparked a public feud with the league last month when he said at a campaign rally in Alabama that team owners should fire players that kneel in protest during the national anthem, arguing that doing so is disrespectful to the country.
He also called on supporters to walk out of games when players take a knee during the anthem.
The comments drew a rebuke from NFL executives, coaches and players, who knelt or linked arms at games across the country in a show of solidarity.
But Trump has continued to hammer players over the protests, urging the NFL to make it mandatory to stand during the anthem. Over the weekend, Vice President Pence walked out of an Indianapolis Colts game when some players took a knee during the anthem.
Trump raised the issue again on Tuesday, accusing the NFL in a tweet of taking “massive tax breaks,” despite “disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country.”
NFL teams are, in fact, for-profit entities that pay taxes accordingly. The league’s central office itself was previously classified as a nonprofit, but gave up its tax exempt status in 2015 amid criticism.