Networks chicken out on National Anthem – Fox and ESPN won’t show
Are the Fox Sports and ESPN protesting the National Anthem now? Both networks told CNN that they won’t air the pre-game ceremony for weekend games as well as Monday Night Football.
Fox said the network won’t be showing the anthem live, but that the cameras “are always rolling so if something happens, we will be sure to cover it.” ESPN also said it would not air the anthem live Monday night.
Fans have become accustomed to seeing the National Anthem broadcast live since the networks began doing it earlier this year. Now, perhaps to avoid fanning the flames of the National Anthem protest battle, they are choosing to avoid the hullaballoo altogether.
CBS chose to black out the Star-Spangled banner during Thursday night’s NFL matchup despite league spokeswoman Jennifer Sabatelle stating just the week before that they would broadcast it.
Vice President Mike Pence walked out of a game featuring his Indianapolis Colts when players irreverently kneeled during the playing of the anthem.
While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don't think it's too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem
— Vice President Mike Pence Archived (@VP45) October 8, 2017
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell weighed into the controversy last week by sending a letter to team owners seemingly sending the message that he expects players to respect the flag.
“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” Goodell wrote. “We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us.” It wasn’t even 24 hours before the league backpedaled on Goodells’ letter.
“Commentary this morning about the Commissioner’s position on the anthem is not accurate,” the NFL said. “As we said yesterday, there will be a discussion of these issues at the owners meeting next week.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced that players who kneel for the anthem will sit for the game indicating that anyone disrespecting the flag, nation or the “Star-Spangled Banner” would be benched.
ESPN’s special little snowflake, Jemele Hill, jumped into the fray by then tweeting “If you strongly reject what Jerry Jones said, the key is his advertisers,” telling fans to boycott sponsors of the Dallas Cowboys. That little social justice warrior stunt got her suspended for violating ESPN’s social media policy … or something.
The protests are controversial, not just because they are disrespectful to veterans, fans and Americans in general, but because no one really knows what they are protesting. Generic causes like “injustice”, “social justice”, and “equality” are bandied about but no real expectation of an outcome is ever voiced. Without demanding changes to specific policies, practices or actions, the protests are little more than millionaires trying to look relevant in the age of outrage politics. Perhaps Fox Sports and ESPN are doing the same, albeit a bit late.