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#pounditSunday, January 16, 2022

ESPN will not air national anthem before NFL games this season

ESPN

National anthem protests are once again expected to be a big topic of discussion across the NFL this season, but ESPN is making an effort to keep the focus on football during its broadcasts.

On Friday, ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro confirmed that the network will not be including the national anthem as part of its coverage before “Monday Night Football” games in 2018.

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

ESPN has tried to distance itself from the national anthem debate and the issues the NFL has had with Donald Trump, and we saw the most glaring example of that when a popular on-air personality was suspended for going after Trump on Twitter. The network has actually avoided broadcasting the anthem for years, though there were a few instances last season where they deemed it newsworthy and broke from standard procedure.

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