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Opinion: ESPN announces it will not air National Anthem during Monday Night Football


Following news that ESPN is bringing back uber-left, bomb-throwing political pundit Keith Olbermann to co-anchor their flagship ‘SportsCenter’ show, the network announced that it will not air the National Anthem before Monday night football games.

ESPN’s president, Jimmy Pitaro, made the announcement yesterday and said that they were following the precedent they set last year amid the controversy surrounding the Anthem protests by players. He also stated that the policy could change, but for now, the plan was not to air it for the upcoming NFL season.

The move highlights the network’s inability to avoid political controversy despite having cornered the market in terms of being the most widely-known sports channel.

Over the past couple of years, the network has laid off hundreds of employees, including big-name reporters and anchors due to falling ratings and revenue.

The network’s failings are largely attributed to the liberal bias of several figureheads, including Jemele Hill, who regularly interjected politics into sports coverage – something largely seen by their core audience as sacrosanct. No one wants political opinion intruding on something that should be apolitcial, and has traditionally brought people of all beliefs and backgrounds together. There are plenty of options for watching politics, especially left-wing politics. Why continue to move into a crowded space when you could otherwise be a haven for people yearning for a break from the constant noise?

Earlier this year, National Center for Public Policy Research general counsel Justin Danhof said about bringing back Olbermann that, “ESPN’s decision to hire the conservative-bashing blowhard only reinforces what it’s ever-fleeting viewers already know – the network cares more about advancing leftists causes than it does about sports, or, frankly, its own ratings.”

Perhaps not airing the Anthem is a smart (albeit cowardly) decision, and ESPN should just go back to what made it so popular to begin with – just airing and covering sports. Keep it simple stupid.

The last thing this country needs is another network letting a bunch of half-wits spew their divisive political opinions on us. We have more than enough of that already.

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