NFL players could be required to stand for national anthem

Talks of rule changes being considered

Members of the Dallas Cowboys link arms and kneel before the National Anthem before the start of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.

The owners of the NFL are reportedly considering a rule change that would make it mandatory for players to stand during the national anthem, CNBC reported.

A league spokesman said that the owners would discuss the potential change during a meeting next week, Dow Jones reported.

President Donald Trump suggested on Tuesday that 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 few 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. The network has suffered subscriber losses over the last few years as some viewers have moved to streaming services from cable television.

Hill, an African-American co-host of the 6 p.m. broadcast of "SportsCenter," received backlash last month after calling Trump a "white supremacist" in a series of tweets that referenced the president's comments about a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

That comment prompted Trump to demand an apology from ESPN and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to call for Hill's firing.

While ESPN took no formal action against Hill over the Trump comment, she did apologize to the network for the trouble her remarks had caused while standing by the tweets. ESPN cited that apology in announcing Hill's suspension Monday , saying in a statement that ESPN employees had been "reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences."

Hill targeted Jerry Jones on Twitter on Sunday after the Dallas Cowboys owner stated that players who disrespect the flag would not play for his team. She suggested fans who disagree with Jones should boycott the team's advertisers and not buy the team's merchandise.

She clarified Monday that she wasn't calling for an NFL boycott.

2017 CNBC/ Associated Press