MNF Won't Show Anthem This Season — ESPN President

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Pitaro added that ESPN will cover instances where sports and politics intersect but emphasized that the World Wide Leader is not a political organization.

Pitaro communicated the news to the National Football League "as courtesy and good partners", according to Fischer.

President Jimmy Pitaro announced the change during a press event on Friday, adding that exceptions could be made throughout the season.

The national anthem had always been a staple of sports games until two years ago, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

The network also did not air the national anthem during last season's "Monday Night Football" broadcasts.

Druley added that the network only aired the anthem three times a year ago: for a moment of silence for a hurricane, the Las Vegas shooting and a moment of silence for the 16th anniversary of 9/11.

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"That we're a political organization because we are not".

He continued to explain that the network covered things that were "newsworthy". "When something happens, when Eagles are disinvited from White House, when someone takes a knee, if we think newsworthy were going to cover it".

ESPN's president said he was not anxious about losing a contract with the NFL, saying the media outlet and the league have a "strong relationship". "We're optimistic about not just about the next four years but for the long-term partnership".

In any event, it appears ESPN isn't waiting for the National Football League and NFLPA to come up with their joint policy on anthem protesting. But the policy was later placed on hold after backlash.

It has inspired fierce criticism from President Donald Trump.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News.

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