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Did Trump Revoke the NFL's Status as a Non-Profit Organization?

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No, The NFL hasn't been considered a Non Profit since 2015.

Recent headlines have surfaced stating that President Donald Trump has temporarily revoked the NFL from filling as a Non-Profit Organization in negation to NFL players kneeling for the national anthem before games. These headlines are shown here. Similar articles have came out recently after a September 23 statement by Trump, where he called upon the NFL to fire any players who disrespect the flag in protest of racial injustice. This claim is false, because although the NFL was considered a Non Profit in earlier years, they have since moved from that title and are no longer tax exempt like a traditional non profit would be. The claim was fact checked by Saranac Hale Spencer here, showing ample evidence of the article being false.

Origin and Prevalence

An article posted trying to show that Trump had supposedly stripped the NFL of their nonprofit status. This claim made headlines on half a dozen different sources, but is simply not true. This claim came as a result of Donald Trump calling out the players who were kneeling for the national anthem, but although Trump wasn't happy about this, he has no power to revoke the NFL's filing status. President Trump's major interest in the NFL kneeling is quite false itself. While this event was taking place, Trump was quite busy dealing the hurricane in the caribbean and restoring the island.

Issues and Analysis

In August 2016, Colin Kaepernick became the first NFL player to chose to sit during the performance of the National Anthem before the game. This issue caused many controversies across our nation but also provoked many other NFL players to start to either sit or kneel during the anthem. Adam Stites writes more information about the protests here. Kaepernick told the media that he did this to protest the oppression of people of color in the United States and the ongoing issues with police brutality. Many other NFL players have started to sit or kneel, especially in the 2017 season in which we are currently in. Big names like Marshawn Lynch and Martellus Bennett have also decided to sit during the anthem. The biggest protest was earlier this season when 32 Denver Broncos players kneeled.

Donald Trump has continuously made comments toward Kaepernick on twitter stating that he did not agree with Kaepernick's protests and believed his actions to be a complete disrespect of our flag and our nation. The reasoning behind Donald Trump's targeting of the NFL is explained here, by author Shawn Hamilton. Trump continued to call out other NFL players as the protests have continued through the 2017 season. Trump's claims have inspired many fake news articles to surface similar to the claim examined in this analysis.


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The Digital Polarization Initiative is a student-run project which allows university students to investigate questions of truth and authority on the web and publish their results. Learn more, or see our index. Photo credits here. DigiPo members can edit this page.