MNF Won't Show Anthem This Season — ESPN President

MNF Won't Show Anthem This Season — ESPN President

ESPN's president Jimmy Pitaro said the network wouldn't air national anthem broadcasts during its Monday Night Football games.

Via Axios.com reporter Sara Fischer, Pitaro said it isn't a hard-and-fast decision.

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.

"It's unpredictable what could happen in the world but as of now, we're not", said Pitaro. "They have not asked but as courtesy and good partners we have let them know what our plans are". "We're optimistic about not just the next four years but for the long-term partnership".

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Some exceptions were made to that policy.

Stephanie Druley, ESPN's senior vice president of event and studio production, said the network showed the national anthem three times a year ago: following Hurricane Harvey's devastation, the Las Vegas massacre and President Trump's comments on the national anthem protests.

During the playing of the national anthem this preseason, several players opted to continue protesting - either by kneeling or raising a fist. For the better part of two years, there has been a growing controversy on players protesting during the National Anthem and cameras seeking out those players to broadcast them to the millions watching at home.

Pitaro was quoted at ESPN Football Media Day on Friday saying that the broadcasting network is not a "political organization". This includes examples of a player taking a knee or the Eagles being disinvited from the White House. It's not our job to politics, purely, but we'll cover the intersection of sports & politics.

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