So it appears that ESPN has decided that one of the most contentious and controversial issues of the NFL season is no longer newsworthy and need not be covered. Reports from ESPN officials are that the sports giant, which has recently been decimated by financial and viewership woes, will not air the national anthem during Monday Night Football games. Purportedly this is simply a continuation of previous policy by the organization, but ESPN’s president Jimmy Pitaro is also asserting that ESPN is not a “political” organization–as if that particular policy is relevant to the issue of athletes protesting racial injustice and police brutality but refusing to stand during the national anthem. Surely other sports and television networks will be interested in continuing to report on and shed light on the actions by these courageous brothers who reject the plantation-like assertions of control and power exhibited by NFL owners. Clearly this is an effort to pander to the white critics of ESPN’s handling of national anthem related items at the network, including their rage at the network’s pace in suspending Jemele Hill, and the amount of favorable coverage of the protests. It is high time a Black media mogul creates a viable competitor to these sports networks instead of allowing white networks to make their bank off of the backs of majority Black subjects.
Article below by Kevin Kelleher at fortune.com.
Avoiding potential controversy over showing players kneeling in protest of racial inequality, ESPN won’t broadcast the national anthem before any Monday Night Football games this year.
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