WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump is suggesting the U.S. change its tax laws to punish organizations like the NFL if members are "disrespecting" the national anthem or flag.
Trump tweeted this morning, "Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!"
The NFL gave up its federal tax-exempt status a few years ago and now files tax returns as a taxable entity. So it's unlikely that Trump's proposal, tweeted in the early hours Tuesday, would change anything.
The president also said in his tweet that ESPN ratings have "tanked" because of Jemele Hill, the anchor suspended for making political statements on social media.
While NFL viewership is down slightly, ESPN remains among the most popular cable networks. The network has suffered subscriber losses over the last few years as some viewers have moved to streaming services from cable television.
NFL Spokesman Joe Lockhart: “The idea that we received some sort of tax break is not true at all, so there’s nothing really to give up.” https://t.co/w7n9dEqcaB
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 10, 2017
NFL's Joe Lockhart responds to Trump's tweet: "The idea that we receive a tax break is not true."
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 10, 2017