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.