ABC does not televise national anthem before Game 2 of NBA Finals
ABC did not televise the national anthem that was played before Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. on Friday night.
Viewers watching the programming on ABC may have noticed that there was pregame coverage, then some commercials, and then the game tipped off. Missing prior to the tip off was the national anthem ceremony. That was at least the case for those watching on traditional TV and YouTube TV.
The national anthem was played for those attending and playing in the game. Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers performed it.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) October 3, 2020
Based on video from Marc J. Spears, who reported on the game from inside the arena, both the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat appeared to kneel.
So why didn’t ABC show the anthem ceremony on TV?
They may have received some negative feedback when only one player stood for the anthem prior to Game 1 of the series. If they made a conscious decision to not show the anthem ceremony this time, it may have been to avoid the polarizing discussion about the matter.
This wouldn’t be the first time ESPN decided to handle the national anthem situation by avoiding it. In 2018, they declined to air the national anthem before NFL games due to the controversy over players kneeling.