Over the past few weeks, NFL teams have been taking the field for preseason action. While most of the eyes were focused on the action on the field, a debate from the previous two NFL seasons raged on.
During the playing of the national anthem this preseason, several players opted to continue protesting – either by kneeling or raising a fist. Eagles star Malcolm Jenkins, several players from the Jacksonville Jaguars, and others used some form of protest.
The NFL made the anthem a point of interest during the offseason, but that hasn’t curbed any protests. Now ESPN is doing something about it.
The Worldwide Leader won’t show the national anthem before games.
Per @sarafischer: ESPN will not air the National Anthem prior to Monday Night Football games this year. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro told reporters today that could change re: news but per Fischer: ESPN communicated that plan to the NFL "as courtesy and good partners."
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) August 17, 2018
Earlier this preseason, the NFL released a statement concerning the protests on the field and a potential punishment.
“The NFL has been engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans. While those discussions continue, the NFL has agreed to delay implementing or enforcing any club work rules that could result in player being disciplined for their conduct during the performance of the anthem,” said the NFL in a statement.
The anthem debates aren’t going anywhere.