Amid the mass kneeling and interlocking arms during the national anthem on Sunday’s NFL games, ESPN will air the Star Spangled Banner during its Monday Night Football broadcast between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals. ESPN will also show the “Inside These Lines” unity ad that aired on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

These decisions come after President Trump’s incendiary comments on Friday calling NFL players who kneel during the national anthem “SOB’s” and saying they should be fired. In response, some players kneeled while others locked arms with team owners as a display of unity.

Trump’s comments led to plenty of discussion on the NFL pregame shows on Sunday and continues to be heavily covered on not just the sports networks, but the news networks as well.

CBS, Fox, and NBC all aired the national anthem during their NFL coverage and it was also shown during Verizon’s stream of the Baltimore-Jacksonville game from London.

This has become a volatile time for the NFL, as it has to not only deal with President Trump’s comments, but also added scrutiny from fans, non-fans, and the media. With attention on players kneeling during the national anthem, it’s led the NFL’s media partners to air the various renditions from each stadium as this has become a huge national story.

So ESPN will join its NFL TV brethren in airing both the national anthem and the famous unity ad. The NFL is trying to send a message, and it’s hoping President Trump will see it.

[Hollywood Reporter]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

  • Paul S

    Ha! ESPN is a dog. I stopped watching when “Jenner” was awarded for confusion

  • nbtx27

    “ESPN will join its NFL TV brethren in airing both the national anthem
    and the famous unity ad. The NFL is trying to send a message”

    I got the message. I’m done with the NFL and their coddling of the grandstanding players and their bs.
    ESPN- long ago done with that cable channel. No reason to watch- I watch sports to get away from the 24×7 drone of politics and Americans going at each other over nothing.

  • Carter_Burger67

    Suddenly, the networks are interested in airing the national anthem, hastening their own demise.

  • JonInCa

    Boob Costas calls POTUS racially tone-deaf? Why Bob – is it black vs white to stand for the National Anthem? When in uniform – you’re on the job. Wanna take your free-speech into the street – fine, enjoy. But on the field you should respect the flag.. regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Stop race-baiting Bob.

  • Jon Bradshaw

    Our new plans for Superbowl Sunday… we’ll be screening The Replacements.

  • William Boyd

    NFL, Goodell you knitwit, you can’t see what is coming with these protests. You can’t see by your non action, what you may have caused. We as patriotic American cannot allow the NFL protest to be successful. If it is, then you have started a new venue for other protests of all kinds. The Nathional Anthem will be a tool used by protesters for years to come unless this NFL protest is not stopped. It has already created a second protest. The Texans owner, because of a slip of the tongue, a second protest now has grown, and when did they protest, yep, the Nathional Anthem. So what is next. If players want to protest one of your suspensions, they now have the right to kneel during the National Anthem according to you. Anything that hurts their feelings, they now can take a knee to protest. You have erased the line in the sand, and they have come running across. Goodell, step down now…………………..please.