Over the past few weeks, hundreds of NFL players have been taking a knee during the national anthem to protest against President Donald Trump and against racial inequality. Now, President Trump and his administration are firing back at them in a big way.
Freedom Daily News reported that Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney just reminded his viewers that NFL stadiums have collected over $1 billion in federal subsidies.
“There’s $1.1 billion in direct subsidies from taxpayers to the NFL,” Varney said. “Taxpayer subsidies go to the building of stadiums. There have been 20 new NFL stadiums since 1997. All of them have received a degree of taxpayer subsidies.”
Varney: NFL stadiums have collected over $1B in federal subsidies. My message to the NFL is "don’t bite the hand that feeds you." pic.twitter.com/68XjqqRIlh
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) September 25, 2017
Now, the NFL is facing the possibility of being completely cut off from taxpayer funds.
Rep. Matt Gaetz recently called on Congress to end the tax-exempt status of the NFL’s business office in the wake of controversy over players and team owners kneeling during the national anthem. When the anthem protests started, he took to the floor of the House of Representatives to say that players have a constitutional right to free speech, but Americans shouldn’t subsidize a sport whose players act unpatriotically.
“When people kneel during our national anthem, they don’t simply indict the issue with which they have some particular grievance,” said Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach. “They indict our country, our service members, our first-responders, our founding fathers and the principles that made this country great.”
He later announced that he has become the lead sponsor of the Pro Sports Act, a bill that removes the tax-exempt status of the NFL’s League Office, which was created in 1966. In a press release, Gaetz said that he wanted to make the voluntary relinqueshment permanent under the tax code.
“We must close this loophole in the tax code, and end taxpayer subsidies for professional athletics,” Gaetz said in the release. “If players want to protest, they have that right — but they should do it on their own time, and on their own dime.”
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