ESPN won’t televise national anthem during MNF

ESPN won’t televise national anthem during MNF

ESPN won’t televise national anthem during MNF

On Friday, ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro confirmed that the network will not be including the national anthem as part of its coverage before "Monday Night Football" games in 2018.

Pitaro, who was hired on March 15 following the resignation of John Skipper, shared that the network had not previously shown the anthem and did not plan to start doing so, reports.

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"Again that could change", Pitaro added.

The Worldwide Leader won't show the national anthem before games. "They have not asked but we proactively just as a courtesy and as good partners let them know what our plans are", he continued. The broadcast included the anthem last season on the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the day after the deadly shootings in Las Vegas and the first Monday after President Trump began publicly criticizing players who protested during the song. If they broadcast protests during the anthem, they risk adding to the controversy.

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During the playing of the national anthem this preseason, several players opted to continue protesting - either by kneeling or raising a fist. "We are always going to cover the intersection between sports and politics", he said.

"ESPN is not a political organization", he said. Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump capitalized on the ensuing firestorm and has railed against the protests ever since.

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There have been rules in place by certain teams to prevent players from kneeling on the field, as some organizations have stated that they prefer the players that don't want to stand for the anthem to stay in the locker room until game time. This includes examples of a player taking a knee or the Eagles being disinvited from the White House.

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