Showing the national anthem during NFL games was the big story for TV networks last week, as players protested during the anthem in response to Donald Trump’s remarks about the practice. Though the story hasn’t faded, Fox largely decided to move on in Week 4, except for the Saints-Dolphins game in London. Meanwhile, CBS showed the anthem for its Bears-Packers Thursday Night Football broadcast (as well as its regular Week 4 telecasts), as did NBC during Sunday Night Football.
ESPN originally opted not to show the national anthem during tonight’s Monday Night Football telecast of the Redskins-Chiefs game. But current events have changed that thinking. Due to the mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night, ESPN will now show the national anthem before the game in addition to a moment of silence for the victims.
ESPN will air national anthem tonight before MNF, followed by a moment of silence for Vegas. They original were gonna skip anthem this week.
— Brian Flood (@briansflood) October 2, 2017
ESPN says following the tragic events in Las Vegas, they will now air the national anthem before MNF tonight followed w. moment of silence.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) October 2, 2017
More than 50 people were killed and 500 injured at an outdoor concert festival in Las Vegas Sunday as a gunman opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 from a 32nd-floor room of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino. It is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
As the Washington Post‘s Cindy Boren notes, ESPN had decided not to show the national anthem before the 2017 NFL season began. The one exception was during the season-opening MNF Saints-Vikings telecast on the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which included a special tribute at Minneapolis’s U.S. Bank Stadium.
But plans changed last week when the national anthem and player protests became a major story throughout the NFL. ESPN broadcasted Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones taking a knee with players before the anthem, and then the team standing while the anthem played.