ESPN Attempts to Avoid National Anthem Conflict By Not Airing Song This Season — People Aren’t Happy

The controversy continues with the National Football League (NFL) as ESPN announced the network will not broadcast the national anthem again this year before “Monday Night Football” games, The Los Angeles Times reported.

“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,” ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said on Friday, per Axios’ Sara Fischer.

“Again that could change,” he added. “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.

Many people took to Twitter to express their outrage over the decision:

Others have just kissed goodbye to ESPN and the NFL:

Last year, ESPN also chose to not broadcast the national anthem in order to allow more time for commentary before games, network sources indicated.

Exceptions were made for the anthem broadcast last season, however, including on the sixteenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the day after the Las Vegas massacre and the first Monday after President Donald Trump began blasting players for kneeling during the song.

The protests all began when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat and then kneeled for the national anthem during the 2016 season.

His demonstration seen as disrespectful by many. For example, a restaurant even decided to cancel their NFL package, and a police union in Florida decided to boycott games, as well as other backlash.

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