It doesn’t seem like all that long ago that I would come home from working my shift, grab a beverage and plop down on the couch to grab 15 minutes or so of Sports Center on ESPN. That ritual took place across the country for millions of sports fans.
But now, I wouldn’t even remotely consider it. At some point in time, ESPN took a sharp left onto Liberalville Highway and never came back. The network is ridiculously leftist and many industry experts are probably shocked that it hasn’t completely tanked yet, as they’ve lost tons of their base audience.
What put the final nail in the coffin was an announcement from the network this week that they would no longer be airing the National Anthem before Monday Night Football. And believe you me, President Trump had something to say about that…
President Donald Trump continued to criticize NFL player protests during the national anthem at his rally Tuesday.
This time, Trump aimed his comments at ESPN, which recently stated it will continue its policy of not airing the playing of the national anthem before its “Monday Night Football” telecasts.
President Trump took aim at ESPN last night, over the network's announcement that they will not air the National Anthem before #MondayNightFootball this season. @mvp86hinesward reports. pic.twitter.com/yZhWMrpuoP
— Morning Express with Robin Meade (@MorningExp) August 22, 2018
“Unlike the NFL, you always honor and cherish our great American flag,” Trump said at his rally in West Virginia (via USA Today). “It was just announced by ESPN that rather than defending our anthem, our beautiful, beautiful national anthem and defending our flag, they’ve decided that they just won’t broadcast when they play the national anthem. We don’t like that.”
Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN’s new president, told reporters Friday the network will continue to air just the game, but if there is a “newsworthy” event, they will cover it. Last season, according to Axios, the anthem was televised on three occasions: during a moment of silence for hurricane victims, when a moment of silence was held to honor the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, and before the Dallas vs. Arizona game, which was after President Trump referred to players protesting as SOBs.
“We generally have not broadcasted the anthem, and I don’t think that will change this year,” Pitaro said Friday. “Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem … again that could change. It’s unpredictable what could happen in the world, but as of now, we’re not.”
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