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ESPN Won't Televise The National Anthem Before Monday Night Football

Most networks choose not to air the anthem to save time on their broadcasts.
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ESPN Won't Televise The National Anthem Before Monday Night Football

ESPN announced Friday it won't show the national anthem on its Monday Night Football broadcasts.

The announcement immediately attracted attention from a variety of outlets, despite the fact that not showing the anthem has become standard practice for most networks.

Vox reports that networks typically don't broadcast the anthem purely to save time. Actually deciding to broadcast the anthem has attracted more attention than not doing so. 

The playing of the national anthem has become a staging ground for protests, with some players taking a knee to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

President Trump has amplified the issue by attacking the protests in speeches, saying the players are disrespecting the flag.

The NFL announced a new policy in May, which would fine teams whose players protested by kneeling on the field during the anthem. After blowback from players and critics, the NFL suspended that policy in late June.

ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said on Friday the network will still cover player protests.