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ESPN doesn’t plan to air the national anthem for Monday football games this season.
According to axios.com and USA Today, ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro said the network won’t broadcast the national anthem before “Monday Night Football” games.
“When people tune into ESPN, they’re not looking for political coverage,” Pitaro said, The Washington Post reported.
Pitaro also said the network generally doesn’t broadcast “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
This season, several players have already used the pregame tradition to kneel, among other forms of protest. That happened as the league and players’ union seek to address how to handle demonstrations. The league initially ordered everyone to stand on the sideline when the anthem is played or remain in the locker room.
Players who demonstrate have emphasized they are protesting social injustice, racial inequality and systematic oppression. Players have said they are not against the country, military, flag or the national anthem itself.
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