ESPN won’t televise national anthem during MNF

AP

ESPN has found a way to keep from being in the middle of any national anthem controversies on their air this year — by not putting it on their air.

According to Sara Fischer of Axios.com, ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro said their intention was to not show players doing whatever they may or may not be doing during the song during their Monday Night Football presentations.

“We generally have not broadcasted the anthem and I don’t think that will change this year. Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem,” Pitaro said. “Again that could change. It’s unpredictable what could happen in the world but as of now, we’re not. We have communicated that back to the NFL. They have not asked but as courtesy and good partners we have let them know what our plans are.”

That’s one way to avoid the attention, at least until the President decides to start tweeting at ESPN about how unpatriotic they are because he knows it riles up the people he wants riled.

Of course, it’s also reasonable to wonder whether Pitaro came up with this idea all on his own, or whether it stemmed from conversations with his “good partner” who very much wants this to go away.

139 responses to “ESPN won’t televise national anthem during MNF

  1. Good. We never used to except before playoff/championship games until this entire country went mad after 09/11.

  2. With the exception of the super bowl, I don’t recall ANY network broadcasting the national anthem before Kaepernick started this circus…….

  3. Awesome idea, I think every network should do this. To be honest, I don’t even think the anthem belongs in every single sporting event and game. The Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, Olympics, OK. No need for it at every.. single… game

  4. ESPN never did broadcast the anthem. This isn’t new nor does it have anything to do with protests.

  5. Maybe that’s good. At least for those of us who don’t like 5X draft dodger Trump politicizing the NFL, AND who also don’t support Kaepernick’s protest of law enforcement.

  6. All games should not have the Anthem televised. All it does is keep this crap alive, the kneeling, staying in the tunnel, etc. It is a divisive way of protesting a very important subject.

  7. I know this is a tradition, but In my opinion, the national anthem should only be played for international play. That’s just me, though. I’m just a guy on the internet. lol

  8. They’re scared of Trump since he criticized them last year over the Jemele Hill comments. Bunch of chickens.

  9. GOOD, I love America as much as the next American, not like the Russian stooge in DC.

    Honestly, who cares, we all use that time to crack open beers and take a leak.

    Oh and a part of the DOJ budget goes to these parts of the game, anthem, flyover,

  10. They normally don’t broadcast it anyway, so why is this even a story? Actually the only time I remember seeing it on TV is the weekends closest to 9/11 and Veteran’s Day. The less attention brought to this issue, the better for everyone other than the people trying to drum up controversy and Trump’s twitter account.

  11. ESPN playing the coward and waiting for a Tweet to depend on others to defend/oppose their inability to stand strong for either side/belief.

    ” If you don’t stand for something, you don’t stand for anything.”

    Show the Anthem and keep the cameras on the Flag and Color Guard not the players or the fans.

  12. Have a better idea that might be ok for both sides, broadcast the anthem but fix the camera on the person singing it and be done
    No other camera shots

  13. That is one good alternative but it comes too late. If the press did not make a mountain out of a mole hill last season, by making a huge deal when Kap was sitting during the national anthem, then it would not have ballooned into such a big and divisive issue.

  14. Peter King made a good point in this week’s FMIA, in last week’s games only O.5% of the players didn’t stand to attention for the anthem. I would say the 99.5% who did would be a much higher proportion than the rest of the people in the stadiums or the people watching on TV for that matter. Maybe some perspective is needed when it comes to the constant reporting of this issue.

  15. I think this has been happening anyhow, or at least the spirit of it. I have not seen the cameras show any protesters even once and I suspect the NFL has instructed them not to similar to how they have been instructed to not show fans acting out on the field. I just checked my DVR and I think they are going to commercial.

  16. 3Fingaz says:
    August 17, 2018 at 2:16 pm
    good! there’s no need to even play it before sporting events, just play football
    —————

    ^^ This ^^

  17. mikebel11 says:
    August 17, 2018 at 2:05 pm
    ESPN never did broadcast the anthem. This isn’t new nor does it have anything to do with protests.

    ———————
    I think most networks dont. It has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with how valuable those advertising slots are just before the game starts.

  18. Networks have never shown the local anthem singing in itself, but espn will surely recognize and idolize any player that makes a protests. Kind of like a sit we know.

    Giving too much love to rebels is not always a good thing.

  19. derekgorgonstar says:
    August 17, 2018 at 2:04 pm
    We have to be ashamed of America now?

    Forget the nfl, this has probably done it for me.
    ————–
    Only if you feel ashamed by NOT seeing free citizens being used as a prop to sell a product (Nationalism) at an inappropriate time.

  20. I’m wary about ESPN, given the fact that they’ve been circling the drain with having subpar on air talent, on obvious agenda, and just getting their butts kicked in general by the NFL network in terms of quality of coverage. This is definitely a step in the right direction. I wonder if they’ll be tempted to “replay” video shots of those who knelt during the course of their broadcast….I would hope not, but you never know when a decision will be made to continue to fan the flames of this controversy. For now, I say kudos to ESPN, but let’s see if they stick to it.

  21. I am sure that no other media outlets will seize on this opportunity to drive clicks with footage and stories about who stood and who didn’t.

  22. The cameras should be focused on the flag itself for the duration of the anthem.

    Why doesn’t the POTUS call out the cameramen panning the crowds and field for not participating in the anthem?

  23. Someone involved with the networks finally gets it. Now we just need CBS, Fox, & NBC to follow their lead.

    Broadcasting the anthem while singling out the players who protest and then droning on endlessly about the situation, has always been my issue with this kerfuffle. Fans tune in to watch football. The sooner NFL broadcasts return to focusing on the game, the sooner you will have fans return to watching out of market games.

  24. Brilliant solution.

    Just pick up the edge of the carpet and sweep it underneath.

    Where do I apply to become an ESPN executive?

  25. When was it ever on the air? Nobody really cares. If you do, you can wrap yourself in a flag on your couch, and maybe mouth the words like DJT did. Or put on a hat like Jerry did.

  26. Great news, but surprising… That network is usually pushing its political agenda on the audience. I would have thought they would have had sideline interviews with every one of the kneelers.

  27. perfect, takes away their stage. Now they’ll have to kneel during time outs or the game. Lets play and watch football and leave politics out of it. Go protest all you want when you’re not at work and being paid to do a job.

  28. Why not just show the person singing the Anthem so their family can be proud of them instead of showing the handful of players showing their disrespect?

  29. Used to be you never saw the anthem on TV except maybe at the Super Bowl when some huge star was signing it. And when I played high school football we never, ever were on the field for the anthem because that was the time for the coaches to give their final pregame talk in the locker room–which is also how it used to be for the NFL. Was it Sept. 11 that changed all that?

  30. Hard to do when the NFL wants be pro arm service police first responders with holding the flag and all, we all seem to forget these individuals for the self indulgence of the players.

  31. Now can we stop playing the anthem before grade school and high school games? Isn’t reciting the pledge of allegiance to start school every day enough nationalistic indoctrination?

  32. Coffeehog says:

    August 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    I think this has been happening anyhow, or at least the spirit of it. I have not seen the cameras show any protesters even once and I suspect the NFL has instructed them not to similar to how they have been instructed to not show fans acting out on the field. I just checked my DVR and I think they are going to commercial.
    —————
    I don’t know how you missed it?
    The national was broadcasted for over a decade, until the protesting.
    Then, the media decided to broadcast the protesting.
    If you didn’t notice it, you got bigger problems to work on.
    Good luck !

  33. screamingyellowzonkers says:

    August 17, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Coffeehog says:

    August 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    I think this has been happening anyhow, or at least the spirit of it. I have not seen the cameras show any protesters even once and I suspect the NFL has instructed them not to similar to how they have been instructed to not show fans acting out on the field. I just checked my DVR and I think they are going to commercial.
    —————
    I don’t know how you missed it?
    The national was broadcasted for over a decade, until the protesting.
    Then, the media decided to broadcast the protesting.
    If you didn’t notice it, you got bigger problems to work on.
    Good luck
    ——-
    Sorry.
    The national anthem was NOT broadcasted for over a decade.

    I guess I’ve got my own problems to work on.
    LOL.

  34. It is hilarious how Trump has lost this issue so badly. Everyone I talk to supports the players in their quest to expose the corrupt and racist police forces, while Trump lies and says all is just wonderful in America. I don’t know anyone who agrees with Trump’s hate towards the minority players.

  35. tarynfor12 says:
    August 17, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    ESPN playing the coward and waiting for a Tweet to depend on others to defend/oppose their inability to stand strong for either side/belief.

    ” If you don’t stand for something, you don’t stand for anything.”

    Show the Anthem and keep the cameras on the Flag and Color Guard not the players or the fans.

    ————

    It’s just the lesser of the evils man get over yourself with it. In your country right now you can be fired for something you tweeted 10 years ago that was insensitive. As James Gunn who Disney just fired for decade old tweets. As long as the media has people watching and commenting on this stuff it will continue. The anthem is fine, the players who want to raise awareness is fine albeit in the wrong venue but everyone has an opinion and it’s safer for ESPN and other companies to stay clear. No doubt I dislike Kapernick but lets be honest at the right price he’s a better back up then some teams have. But why would a team want to deal with the crap……..ESPN is doing what 32 other NFL teams have done with Sackorpick. If the NFL had never have said anything and just quietly have the Anthem not on TV it’s likely a small issue…………….first person to talk loses and that’s all this has been since day one.

  36. This issue isn’t just about showing what is going on during the anthem. It is the subsequent coverage about which players knelt and which players remained in the locker room….etc. What we need is for all of the media (including this site) to stop coverage of any of this issue entirely.

  37. I see more people who are upset are bailing on the NFL. To this I say…yes please. Don’t go to games, stay out of the bars. See the typical person enraged by people who dare to stand up (and think anyone who kneels hate the police, America, freedom or whatever else the jerkwad with the orange face tells them) is the kind of person I find the least pleasant to be at a game with or talk to at a sports bar. If you cannot make the distinction between constitutional rights vs. your mistaken notions springing from tribalism–you damn sure cannot offer much besides yelling and simple stupidity to the games. You are the same guys I had to hear “Romo sucks, he’s overrated” and “Garrett is Jerrah’s puppet” etc. I am so happy you will be staying home. Truly. Be a man of your word, please, for once. Give up and stay home. Maybe form a support group like “People Offended by Haters of America” or “Love it or Leave It, We screamed it for years about the USA, and did it to ourselves about the NFL”. I am looking more forward to this year knowing many of you are “quitting for good”

  38. GOOD, I love America as much as the next American, not like the Russian stooge in DC.

    Honestly, who cares, we all use that time to crack open beers and take a leak.

    Oh and a part of the DOJ budget goes to these parts of the game, anthem, flyover,

    …Except it turns out Obama and Clinton were the stooges of Russia

  39. derekgorgonstar says:
    August 17, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    We have to be ashamed of America now?

    Forget the nfl, this has probably done it for me.
    ———————

    Go to the military parade maybe you’ll feel better there!

  40. briang123 says:
    August 17, 2018 at 3:12 pm
    It is hilarious how Trump has lost this issue so badly. Everyone I talk to supports the players in their quest to expose the corrupt and racist police forces, while Trump lies and says all is just wonderful in America. I don’t know anyone who agrees with Trump’s hate towards the minority players.

    0 3 Rate This

    Try talking with someone with an IQ over 50

  41. Oh yeah, the above person is 100% right. The anthem was not part of the broadcast for games for many years, ask someone who actually WORKS in the industry. So, the NFL has HATED America and all its glory going back decades. You guys should quit watching, going to the games. They want to destroy your perfect nation, in all its righteous, god given glory…

  42. bucnbutfan says:
    August 17, 2018 at 2:28 pm
    Networks have never shown the local anthem singing in itself, but espn will surely recognize and idolize any player that makes a protests. Kind of like a sit we know.
    Giving too much love to rebels is not always a good thing.
    ————————————————————————————–

    Yeah, probably what the British were thinking back in the day. Always find it ironic when folks who swear they love this country, a country built on rebellious citizens, complain about those using the right to speak freely against injustices. Those are the same folks who are actually harming this country by literally giving away hard fought rights and don’t even realize it. Or. Maybe they do?

  43. Why don’t we just have a live clip of trump standing up and placing his hand on his heart on Thursday evenings, Sunday all 3 games, and on Monday during the anthem. That might satisfy him and his sheeple, what would be more patriotic than that?

  44. Interesting, the entire game won’t be televised on our tv all year long! I just come here for the protest updates to keep up with the entertaining train wreck

  45. See, for me it’s the game. I only want to watch games. As for offending those much needed Services, I don’t see it. They are very tastefully respected in all their Commercials and announcements. I would think those said Services would welcome less scrutiny either good or bad.

  46. It’s rarely on to begin with. This isn’t “new” news, it’s just reinforcing something they’ve always done. I think it’s only televised during playoff/Super Bowl games, as it should be. Those games are international events, show off your colors. What this reinforces is the common fan(me) who attends games and is subsequently exposed to political agendas, which is NOT what I paid for. Personally, I think that’s many peoples point who oppose the kneeling during the anthem. I’m there to attend a football game, not a political rally.

  47. I’d also like to point out that if the players knelt, and only knelt, instead of tying it to something political, there would be no outrage. The fact is you are protesting during the anthem. There are better times and more appropriate places.

  48. Remember back before the DOD paid millions to the NFL for manufactured patriotism & the anthem wasnt broadcast or even made a big deal? Maybe I’m the only one old enough to remember when they sang the anthem PRIOR to the players even being out there….

    Manufactured patriotism
    Manufactured outrage

  49. The solution is simply… just don’t show it and barely talk about it, and it will go away. Just like the on field streakers… if the attention seekers don’t get the attention then they do something else. Simply as that.

  50. Good decision — unless everyone at home wants to stand up and dutifully remove their hats and place hand over heart.

    That means setting down your beer and nachos.

  51. crush22 says:
    August 17, 2018 at 3:37 pm
    They never did.
    Why do they feel the need to announce that?
    ——————————————————
    They did when the Cowboys hosted the Cardinals in Dallas last season. Look it up on u tube. There’s Jerruh kneeling with the whole of Americas team being roundly booed.

  52. derekgorgonstar says:
    August 17, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    We have to be ashamed of America now?

    Forget the nfl, this has probably done it for me.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    None of us will miss you.

  53. Play the Anthem and focus the camera on the nearest American flag for the duration.
    Problem solved.
    Unless you have another ‘reason’ not to play it that you’re not telling us about…

  54. imodan says:
    August 17, 2018 at 4:30 pm
    crush22 says:
    August 17, 2018 at 3:37 pm
    They never did.
    Why do they feel the need to announce that?
    ——————————————————
    They did when the Cowboys hosted the Cardinals in Dallas last season. Look it up on u tube. There’s Jerruh kneeling with the whole of Americas team being roundly booed.
    _______
    They showed that one because they knew ahead of time Jerry was gonna make a butt out of himself.

  55. This is what the players have achieved, the National anthem will no longer be televised. The National anthem…congratulations to all of you.

  56. Sometimes the anthem is done by entertainment celebrities but sometimes it is done by up and coming hopefuls and not showing the anthem punishes them in a way. Why not show the anthem and just not show the malcontents instead> Not hard to avoid the players since they are all lined up in the same area.

  57. Of course, it’s also reasonable to wonder whether Pitaro came up with this idea all on his own, or whether it stemmed from conversations with his “good partner” who very much wants this to go away.

    If it came from either Pitaro or his “good partner”, it doesn’t matter. It means somebody is listening to the fact that most football fans are tired of this and just want to watch football. The game of football isn’t the forum for solving the world’s problems.

  58. that will allow the radical ones to go unseen…. Really the game doesn’t matter that much to me any more. Have you noticed how the price of tickets for home openers are low compared to other seasons??

  59. sonsofpenn says:
    August 17, 2018 at 2:17 pm
    Good.
    Our walking circus peanut of a president watches too much television as it is.

    And our prior CIC played too much golf and took too many vacations. At least he’s paying attention to current events! I agree on not showing the Anthem every game. Show it during games that crown the champions!

  60. derekgorgonstar says:
    August 17, 2018 at 2:04 pm
    We have to be ashamed of America now?

    Forget the nfl, this has probably done it for me
    ————————-

    I’m assuming you stopped watching last year when they didn’t show it either, right?

  61. One. Who cares about Trump and his idea of patriotism. All these posters seem willing to forgive cadet bone spurs for not serving. I served. I bet a bunch of these people complaining did not. Don’t worry. I served so you didn’t have to.

    Two. Last I checked most stations didn’t show it anyway. And if they did, most people were getting beer and chips during it. So. Who. Cares.

    Patriotism isn’t an anthem. Or a flag. Or a lapel pin. It is the willingness to do for others in the name of country and society that you wouldn’t do otherwise. How many of you people bitching about this did that?

    I did.

  62. cardinealsfan20 says: August 17, 2018 at 3:06 pm
    Now can we stop playing the anthem before grade school and high school games? Isn’t reciting the pledge of allegiance to start school every day enough nationalistic indoctrination?

    What do you advocate? Globalist indoctrination, nihilistic indoctrination, etc..? Kinda triggered by simple pride in country..

  63. ESPN may not broadcast the Anthem before games, but they are the number one sports channel to give regular updates and camera shots of players kneeling during their Sportscenter show. They are a hypocrite sports channel.

  64. If you dont like them not showing it dont watch the show will go on without you hahahahaahha

  65. Everybody that quit watching the NFL over anthem protests can show their love of country and patriotism by volunteering on game days and nights at a VA hospital.

  66. As someone who is grateful for the freedom and opportunity this country offers, likes hearing the anthem before a game, and actually sometimes gets chills when it’s sung, I now get robbed of the opportunity to enjoy that part of the broadcast. Hope you’re happy, protesters. Oh wait… you’ll never be happy. You’re too busy being angry.

  67. I never saw any point in the Anthem played at every sporting event whether its the NFL, Little League or spitting contest. It should be reserved for international sporting contests as it is elsewhere, where each country unites behind its team. On the other hand I absolutely hate seeing it thrown by the wayside based on the defiance of some overpaid hoodlums who can’t spell their names demanding “justice”.

  68. Well, that’s no surprise… Another excuse for an extended commercial break to make more money! It’s only about the $$$ for anybody and everybody involved with the NFL because the NFL is so greedy with their TV rights, etc! All the fans pay out the butt and then some so Roger can make his $40+ million a year to do nothing but ruin the league and fly around on his fan sponsored private jet!

    I will NEVER pay to go to a game again, never get the Sunday ticket, never buy NFL merchandise and only watch free network games, on delay to fast forward through the 2 hours of commercial breaks, for the rest of my life because of this!

  69. Two options:
    1)Keep the teams in the locker room until the anthem is finshed.
    2)Don’t play the national anthem before football games.

    My allegiance to the USA is not affected by having the game played prior to a recreational sporting event.

    Problem solved. Real difficult to figure out you millionaires at the NFL front office?

  70. We must boycott ESPN for infringing on these players constitutional rights by refusing to televise the sjw protests during the anthem!!!! #boycotespn #woke

  71. “That’s one way to avoid the attention”
    **********************

    So, ESPN decided that the best way to avoid the attention was to call a press conference and announce that they weren’t going to play the anthem? Well played by the SJW’s at ESPN as they’re showing everyone how much better they are than the rest of us when it comes to this.

    Oh, and I guarantee you that these hypocrites will have footage of the protesters week 1 running on their networks and disucss it ad nauseam.

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