ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro told reporters Friday that the network will not air the national anthem during Monday Night Football this year. “We generally have not broadcasted the anthem and I don’t think that will change this year,” Pitaro said. “Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem.” But he warned the decision “could change.” “It’s unpredictable what could happen in the world but as of now, we’re not,” Pitaro said. “We have communicated that back to the NFL. They have not asked but as courtesy and good partners we have let them know what our plans are.” Since 2016, hundreds of players have kneeled during the national anthem to protest against racial inequality and police brutality, sparking controversy. The NFL and the NFL Players Association are currently trying to negotiate a new policy regarding on-field anthem protests. President Trump has previously responded to the national-anthem protests on social media and at his rallies, saying any player who protests should be fired.
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