President Donald Trump on Tuesday escalated his long-standing feud with the American sports industry after suggesting that tax law should be changed to revoke tax breaks enjoyed by the National Football League for “disrespecting our Anthem, Flag, and Country.”
In what has been perceived by some as a veiled threat, President Trump allegedly implied that he would push for federal tax law revisions that could see the NFL losing their “massive tax breaks.”
According to the New York Times, the NFL tax breaks have been a point of contention for years and have been infused with new vigor following the increasing national protests that sports stars are taking part in during major sporting events.
The protests were initiated last year by NFL star quarterback Colin Kaepernick in an attempt to bring national attention to the increasing incidents of police brutality directed at African-Americans.
However, Trump’s suggestion of canceling NFL tax breaks would only affect the central office of the league, not the teams. In 2015, the NFL already forfeited their tax breaks voluntarily and independent football teams currently pay taxes on account of being registered as for-profit entities.
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
The NFL reportedly receives billions of dollars in revenue annually, yet still managed to run a $13.5 million deficit in 2014. The following year is when the league relinquished their tax exemption status which meant that financial disclosures were no longer mandatory.
Republican Representative Matt Gaetz last month proposed a bill in the House which is aimed at revoking professional sports leagues’ tax benefits after the sports world was dominated by the controversy surrounding the multitude of players taking the knee during the singing of the “Star-spangled Banner.”
President Trump extended his Tuesday morning Twitter tirade to Congress for not making inroads regarding healthcare reform as well as ESPN for airing a segment in which one of their presenters openly criticized him.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
Sports Center host, Jemele Hill, found herself being the target of Trump’s signature Twitter outbursts after she urged viewers and football fans to boycott Dallas Cowboys games. The request came in response to the Cowboys team coach, Jerry Jones, who threatened to bench players who kneeled during the national anthem.
Ms. Hill has previously been the focus of Trump’s ire after she called the president a white supremacist.
[Featured Image by Daniel Gluskoter/AP Images]