The Hill reports that NFL owners are expected to consider a rule change during an important meeting next week. The rule would require that all players stand during the national anthem when it is played at football games.
The current policy encourages players to stand during the national anthem but doesn't make it mandatory. Ryan Smith, a spokesperson for the NFL, remarked that owners next week will have an opportunity to change the policy if they feel that it is necessary.
According to CNBC News, earlier on Tuesday, President Trump tweeted out that tax laws should be changed, thereby forcing the NFL to make players stand during the national anthem.
The NFL has been criticized for national anthem protests since former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during a 2016 preseason game. Kaepernick claimed he was protesting racial injustice and police brutality. Trump has long been upset about the NFL protests, believing that they are disrespectful to both the flag and the troops.
Trump's comment seemed to escalate the controversy. Beforehand the issue was mainly talked about only in the conservative news media. But now NFL protests seem to be the most widespread news story of the week. And on top of that, the NFL protests themselves seem to be dramatically escalating. Players started kneeling at games during the anthem, with three teams choosing to skip it altogether.
“I have so many friends that are owners,” Trump told Fox News in an interview broadcast Thursday. “They’re in a box. I mean I’ve spoken to a couple of them. They say we are in a situation where we have to do something.”
“I think they’re afraid of their players, you want to know the truth. And I think it’s disgraceful,” he continued.
In recent news, at least 11 are dead and 150 are missing in Northern California.