ESPN Will Not Air National Anthem During NFL Games

ESPN Will Not Air National Anthem During NFL Games

ESPN's president Jimmy Pitaro said the network wouldn't air national anthem broadcasts during its Monday Night Football games.

1/2 ESPN will not be broadcasting the National Anthem on Monday nights this year.

"We generally have not broadcasted the anthem and I don't think that will change this year".

"Again that could change", Pitaro added. We have communicated that back to the NFL.

The announcement comes amid ongoing controversy regarding NFL players' decision to protest the national anthem and, by extension, continued systemic racism against people of color in the United States.

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Other than select games like Super Bowls or September 11 tributes, NFL players were not traditionally on the field during the anthem prior to 2009, when the league began bringing players out before every game.

The Los Angeles Times noted Friday that the "Monday Night Football" production team decided a year ago that it would no longer broadcast the anthem, with officials saying it would allow for more discussion time. Some players continue to protest.

President Jimmy Pitaro announced the change during a press event on Friday, adding that exceptions could be made throughout the season.

Stephanie Druley, ESPN's senior vice president of event and studio production, said the network showed the national anthem three times past year: following Hurricane Harvey's devastation, the Las Vegas massacre and President Trump's comments on the national anthem protests. It's not our job to politics, purely, but we'll cover the intersection of sports & politics.

In May, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced a new national anthem policy for 2018 that would require players and league personnel on the sideline to stand but give them the option to remain in the locker room if they don't want to stand. This includes examples of a player taking a knee or the Eagles being disinvited from the White House.

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