NFL owners mull ban on kneeling during anthem after Trump targets tax breaks they gave up in 2015

first_imgWASHINGTON – NFL team owners will consider requiring players to stand for the U.S. national anthem after President Donald Trump on Tuesday stepped up his criticism of silent player protests against racial injustice by targeting the league on taxes.Trump, a Republican, escalated his feud with the National Football League in a Twitter post asking if the league should get tax breaks while players kneel in protest when the “Star-Spangled Banner” is played at the start of each game. RELATED PHOTOS KEYWORDS African Americans, Donald Trump, national anthem, nkf, tax-exempt The world’s top-grossing sports league gave up its controversial tax-free status two years ago. Its owners are preparing to address the anthem issue at their fall meeting in New York Oct. 17-18, NFL chief spokesman Joe Lockhart told reporters on a conference call on Tuesday.“Everyone at this point is frustrated by the situation,” Lockhart said. “The commissioner and the owners do want the players to stand. We think it is an important part of the game.”The protests in a league where African-Americans make up the majority of players have continued through the season, with some players taking a knee when the anthem is played and others standing arm-in-arm in solidarity.While current policy says players should stand for the anthem and face the flag, no player has been disciplined for a protest, Lockhart said.“Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.What Trump was demanding was unclear since the NFL has given up its tax-exempt status. The White House did not reply to requests for comment.“There is nothing really here to give up,” said Lockhart.Trump last month called on NFL team owners to fire players who kneel during the anthem to protest police violence against black Americans.Critics contend Trump is fanning the controversy to distract from issues including devastation in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, tensions with North Korea and difficulties in pushing health care and tax overhauls through U.S. Congress.Vice President Mike Pence walked out of a NFL game on Sunday after some players knelt, a move some critics called a publicity stunt.Trump won the presidency with less support from black and Hispanic voters than any president in at least four decades.Trump has squared off against the NFL before, having owned a team in the upstart United States Football League in the 1980s. That league folded in 1985 after an anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL failed.The NFL was granted nonprofit tax-exempt status in 1942, but gave it up in 2015 amid criticism from members of the U.S. Congress.Trump has refused to disclose his own tax history, departing from a practice of U.S. presidents going back more than 40 years. Trump has said nobody cares about his tax returns, but critics say they could show conflicts of interest. center_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during a Feb. 1 news conference for the Super Bowl 51 football game, in Houston. President Donald Trump (right) speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington on Oct. 7. NFL owners will meet next week to consider changes to a game manual that says players “should” stand during the national anthem, a guideline that the league has left to the discretion of players who kneeled in larger numbers after criticism from Trump. Goodell told club executives Tuesday in a memo obtained by The Associated Press that the anthem issue is dividing the league from its fans. He said the NFL needs “to move past this controversy.” | APlast_img read more

Coach name side for Women’s Nations Cup

first_imgSoccer Papua New Guinea women’s head coach Peter Gunemba has named a strong squad for the upcoming Oceania Football Confederation Women’s Nations Cup in New Caledonia next week. Peter Gunemba, who is also the head coach of PNG champion club Toti City FC, has named 21 women in his squad which has a good blend of experience and a number of exciting young players. Eight players – young goal keeper Faith Kasiray, Yvonne Gabong, Meagen Gunemba, Ramona Padio, Judith Gunemba, Sandra Birum, Marie Kaipu and Margaret Joseph – have played more international matches for Papua New Guinea – while others are at the start of their international careers like Rayleen Bauelua, Theresah Boie, Fidorah Namuesh, Elizabeth Elizah, Cynthia Pulou, Merolyn Sali, Eunice Nabalu, Betty Sam and Stephanie Gani. Gunemba who is not new to the job knows what it takes to prepare a team for such competitions on a big stage. “I am confident with the players I have in my squad,” said Gunemba. “We haven’t had a huge amount of time to prepare, but since we started camp on Monday the girls are picking up well as we go through series of training phases. “Unfortunately we lost three of our good players – Yasap Ganu and Zeenah Toropoi were dropped due to passport issues while Lavina Hola left on medical grounds.” Gunemba said his team would take nothing for granted but believes the results in New Caledonia will determine their preparations. The PNG senior women will complete their week-long training camp in Lae on Sunday before flying to New Caledonia on Tuesday November 13. Fixtures: Pool A – PNG v Samoa (Nov 18), PNG v New Caledonia (Nov 21) and PNG v Tahiti (Nov 24). PNG senior women squad: Faith Kasiray, Betty Sam, Rita Mayang, Merolyn Sali, Judith Gunemba, Olita Upaupa, Yvonne Gabong, Stephanie Gani, Sandra Birum, Margaret Joseph, Rayleen Bauelua, Selina Unamba, Meagen Gunemba, Ramona Padio, Cynthia Pulou, Georgina Bakani, Marie Kaipu, Eunice Nabalu, Theresah Boie, Elizabeth Elizah, Fidorah Namuesh. Team officials: Head coach – Peter Gunemba, Assistant coach Margaret Aka, Team manager – Rister Sovo, Equipment manager – Catherine Wamapiri.last_img read more

Albania stun Portugal, Germany win

first_img0Shares0000lbaniaPARIS, September 8 – Albania pulled off a major shock by downing Portugal as world champions Germany denied battling Scotland and minnows Gibraltar were demolished by Poland in the opening salvos of Euro 2016 qualifying on Sunday.Portugal, first round casualties at the World Cup, were sorely missing their skipper Cristiano Ronaldo but despite the Real Madrid star’s absence the 1-0 loss to a team ranked 71st in the world was a major embarrassment for Paulo Bento’s side. Albania, who have failed to qualify for a European Championships in half a century, humbled the mighty Portuguese in their own back yard.Slavia Prague forward Bekim Balaj struck the killer blow shortly after the restart, with the home side walking off the pitch in Aveiro at the final whistle to boos from their supporters.“It’s a really bad result,” conceded Portugal striker Nani.“We’ve started qualifyng badly, now we have to pick ourselves up. We have to improve.”Down on Portugal’s Algarve coast, minnows Gibraltar were given a lesson on their introduction to competitive internationals as a UEFA member by Poland as Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski scored four times in a 7-0 romp.In Dortmund, Germany, beaten last week in a friendly by Argentina, got their qualifying campaign up and running with a 2-1 defeat of a spirited Scotland.A goal in each half from Bayern Munich attacker Thomas Mueller ensured they won their first competitive fixture since the World Cup.Scotland were rewarded for a positive second-half approach when winger Ikechi Anya raced clear to equalise on 66 minutes.But the visitors failed to clear a corner four minutes later and Mueller capitalised to thump home his 24th international goal.– Miserable note –Mueller’s winner denied Gordon Strachan’s side what would have been a precious point in a group that also includes the Republic of Ireland, Poland, Georgia and Gibraltar.Scotland were unable to fashion a second equaliser and the night ended on a miserable note when Mulgrew was sent off for dissent in stoppage time.The result means Germany have now gone 33 World Cup and European Championship qualifying games without defeat.German manager Joachim Loew, who revealed Marco Reus had picked up another ankle injury, was relieved his side had survived an uncomfortable second half.“I’m really happy that we got the three points,” Loew said.“Clearly I knew it would be tough. In the first half we had complete control of the game. We didn’t give them any chances and we created a lot ourselves.“We lost control of the game a little bit in the second half. Scotland scored but we reacted well.”Everton winger Aiden McGeady got the Republic of Ireland’s Euro bid off to a flying start with a 2-1 win over Georgia in Tbilisi.Manager Martin O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane’s first competitive game in charge appeared to be heading for a draw, after Tornike Okriashvili cancelled out McGeady’s 24th minute opener.But McGeady bagged a crucial three points away from home with a magical 90th minute winner, curling home a precious winner.Captain Robbie Keane lauded McGeady’s skill.“If you score a goal like that, you deserve to win the game. If anyone else did that, the top players in the world, you would be talking about it for a long time.“The turn, the touch, the finish – only he could do that. No-one else on that field would have been able to do that.”O’Neill suggested there was better to come from his men.“I think there’s improvement in the team – we’ve won away from home, which is terrific – but there’s definitely improvement in the team.”Next month O’Neill’s men face Gibraltar and Germany.Northern Ireland also came out of the blocks brightly – Kyle Lafferty and Niall McGinn providing the late goals for a 2-1 win over Hungary in Budapest.Michael O’Neill’s side’s hopes of registering a first away success in four years looked unlikely when former Watford striker Tamas Priskin headed home a 74th-minute corner.But with 10 minutes remaining, McGinn’s tap-in after a great run from Lafferty put the visitors back in the game.Then on 87 minutes McGinn turned provider who managed to scramble the ball over the line.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more