When ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro revealed last week that the network does not intend to broadcast the singing and playing of the national anthem during “Monday Night Football” this year, outspoken Hollywood actor James Woods responded with just three scathing words.
What a coward. #ESPN https://t.co/jF4QXT5AIG
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) August 17, 2018
“We generally have not broadcasted the anthem and I don’t think there’s going to be any change this year. Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem,” Pitaro had said to a reporter Friday.
“Again, there could be changes. It’s somewhat unpredictable what’s going to happen in the world but as of now our plan now is to not broadcast the anthem. We have communicated that back to the NFL. They have not asked but we proactively just as a courtesy and as good partners let them know what our plans are.”
What spurred Woods’ ruthless tweet was likely the motivation behind ESPN’s refusal to broadcast the anthem and show respect to the United States. The network used to show the national anthem during every game broadcast but stopped after the NFL’s ongoing national anthem protests began in late 2016.
By skipping the anthem, ESPN gets to avoid becoming embroiled in the politics of the national anthem protests, which appears to be the network’s goal, or at least judging by Pitaro’s rhetoric.
“It’s not our job to [cover] politics, purely, but we’ll cover the intersection of sports and politics,” he reportedly said. “When something happens, when Eagles are disinvited from White House, when someone takes a knee, if we think newsworthy were going to cover it.”
The problem is that the network’s behavior completely disproves this narrative. ESPN is always unnecessarily involving itself in politics — left-wing politics, to be precise.
This year the ESPN rehired anti-Trump zealot Keith Olbermann, last year a network contributor labeled President Donald Trump a “white supremacist” and the year before that it fired a baseball analyst over his conservative political views. ESPN is essentially a left-wing political/sports network.
And according to Twitter users, the fact that a patently left-wing network refuses to broadcast the anthem suggests that ESPN supports the NFL’s national anthem protests:
Monday night football ? has been as American as apple pie ?
& John Deere tractors.
Now they choose to remove the “American” by not showing our National anthem.
Who thinks ESPN is more concerned about their pocket books than supporting this country?
— Lieutenant Nad (@CombatDebater) August 18, 2018
.@ESPN‘s jimmy pitaro says the network won’t air the national anthem on Monday Night Football. Yup, that’ll solve the problem. Remove any semblance of national pride from the game. Yup.. you’re a genius. #ByeByeNFL
— Joe Pags Pagliarulo (@JoeTalkShow) August 17, 2018
https://t.co/bmZuuzgJFM ESPN, showing their true liberal/Anti-American (same thing), colors, makes a decision to not air the National Anthem before Monday Football games anymore. Look at this. . .
— Stonewall Jackson (@1776Stonewall) August 18, 2018
ESPN is running away from the issue of the National Anthem. I don’t want to hear it is the players “RIGHT”. Freedom of Speech DOES NOT apply in the Work Place. If you think otherwise attempt it at YOUR WORKPLACE? Let me know how it turns out. Fact, YOU WILL BE UNEMPLOYED.
— George Remaily (@GeorgeRemaily) August 18, 2018
ESPN will not show the national anthem in its Monday Night Games.
This was always the media’s goal.
Left/Soros did it in Europe: end nationalism; replace it w disdain for West.
Do you hate America?
If not, why watch a television network that does?
Never watch ESPN again.
— Philip Schuyler (@FiveRights) August 18, 2018
If #ESPN will not air the national anthem before the Monday night football games because NFL players might take a knee during the anthem I will NOT watch any games on there network @espn #BoycottESPN
— Tony Shephard (@TonyShephard_) August 17, 2018
@espn @NFL @nflcommish @NFLPlayers Not standing or showing the National Anthem ??, or kneeling, spits in Americas face.. FU , another season we #BoycottNFL #BoycottESPN take you punk ass to Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria
— Army Scout (@newscout1) August 19, 2018
Are Woods and others on social media right to be so angry at ESPN, or was Pitaro being sincere when he claimed that he’s just trying to disassociate the network from “pure politics?”
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