NFL Owners To Mull Rule Change To Require Players To Stand For Anthem

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — NFL owners are reportedly considering a rule change that would require players to stand for the national anthem.

The potential move will be discussed at a meeting next week, according to comments reportedly made by NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart.

While the current NFL operations manual encourages players to stand, it does not make it mandatory.

Lockhart told reporters that next week’s meeting will allow owners to determine whether disciplinary actions should be considered.

Talk of a potential response to the wave of protests that kicked off the NFL season comes as President Donald Trump suggested the U.S. change its tax laws to punish organizations like the NFL if members are “disrespecting” the national anthem or flag.

The NFL gave up its federal tax-exempt status a couple 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.

Trump tweeted: “Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!”

Trump also tweeted Tuesday 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, averaging 3 million viewers in prime time.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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