Fox Sports Stops Airing National Anthem Before NFL Games
Network takes stand against #TakeaKnee controversial protests.
Fox Sports is taking a stand against the #TakeAKnee protests during the National Anthem before NFL games.
Execs at the sports network detailed the new policy on Sunday amid the ongoing controversy over football players who are kneeling during the “Star-Spangled Banner” to protest perceived racial injustices in America.
“As we have in previous broadcasts of NFL games from London, FOX will show the National Anthem as well as God Save the Queen live,” Fox said in a statement to Sports Illustrated earlier in the day. “As is standard procedure, regionalized coverage of NFL games airing on FOX this Sunday will not show the National Anthem live; however, our cameras are always rolling and we will document the response of players and coaches on the field.”
Fox Sports stuck to the game-plan Sunday morning, broadcasting the National Anthem before the New Orleans Saints/Miami Dolphins showdown in London. But the cameras did not show the three Dolphins players who took a knee during the anthem. Several Saints players, including star quarterback Drew Brees, did kneel before the song, but then stood at attention when the time came.
It’s an effort to defuse the outrage from a large demographic of the viewership that sees the kneeling as disrespect towards troops who put their lives on the line for their country.
Then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the gesture of defiance — or peaceful protest, depending on one’s political leanings — last season amid a spate of police-involved, fatal shootings of black men. But the controversy became a major national issue last weekend after President Trump weighed in to condemn the NFL for not firing or suspending the offending players.
“Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!,” the president tweeted on Saturday.
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