ESPN won't air national anthem before 'MNF' games


"Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem", Pitaro said.

Pitaro added that ESPN will cover instances where sports and politics intersect but emphasized that the World Wide Leader is not a political organization.

The network now shows regular season games for Monday Night Football, a wild-card round and the Pro-Bowl.

The NFL made the anthem a point of interest during the offseason, but that hasn't curbed any protests.

In any event, it appears ESPN isn't waiting for the National Football League and NFLPA to come up with their joint policy on anthem protesting.

He added: "Again that could change".

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He further clarified that ESPN was not a political organization but assured that politics would be covered as they pertained to sports. We have communicated that back to the NFL.

In May, the National Football League passed a policy that gives any players who want to protest the option to stay in the locker room during the anthem, or be fined if they continue to protest on the field. However, the policy was put on hold as the NFL and NFL Players' Association negotiated the strategy. "When something happens, when Eagles are disinvited from White House, when someone takes a knee, if we think newsworthy were going to cover it".

It has inspired fierce criticism from President Donald Trump.

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.

The network's decision for the upcoming season comes amid an ongoing battle between Trump and players who kneel in protest against racial injustice and police brutality.