Trump calls for tax law changes for National Football League over protests

Late Night: Seth Meyers Reflects on Protests During Anthem Love of Football

In a tweet he complained the league had received "massive" tax breaks, while some of its players had been "disrespecting" the national anthem. "He's fired! He's fired!'"

Baltimore Ravens players kneel for the national anthem at Wembley Stadium at the start of Week 3 protests in the NFL.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the protest a year ago when he sat down as the Star-Spangled Banner was played during a pre-season game in 2016.

The NFL is not considering fining players or teams who choose to kneel, link arms or remain in the locker room during the national anthem, the spokesman added.

Later Sunday, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones warned that players who refused to stand for the anthem risked being benched. "Understand? We will not. if we are disrespecting the flag, then we will not play".

NFL players have reportedly said owners and management have told them to stand for the national anthem.

Mr Trump wrote: "With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have 'tanked, ' in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!"

However Trump stands accused of political grandstanding and wasteful spending of his own, after Vice President Mike Pence quickly left an Indiana Colts game after a few dozen players knelt during the Star Spangled Banner. Trump tweeted support for Pence on Sunday, stating that he was "proud of him".

The NFL in 2015 agreed to give up the tax-exempt status for its league office, after lawmakers denounced it as an unconscionable giveaway. While the league has attracted criticism for using public money for new stadiums -a March 2017 ESPN article put the bill for the taxpayer on new stadiums and renovations to old ones since 1997 at $6.7 billion, including the Oakland Raiders' upcoming move to Las Vegas that will come in at nearly $1 billion-it has moved in recent years to close up one tax loophole.

The protests have also been seen outside the USA with some players at two National Football League games staged at Wembley Stadium in successive weeks "taking the knee" when the Star-Spangled Banner was played. The code is never enforced, however, and there is no punishment for breaching it. Civilians should stand to attention with their right hand over their heart, while military personnel in uniform and veterans should salute throughout.

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