President Donald Trump continued to criticize NFL player protests during the national anthem at his rally Tuesday.
This time, Trump aimed his comments at ESPN, which recently stated it will continue its policy of not airing the playing of the national anthem before its “Monday Night Football” telecasts.
“Unlike the NFL, you always honor and cherish our great American flag,” Trump said at his rally in West Virginia (via USA Today). “It was just announced by ESPN that rather than defending our anthem, our beautiful, beautiful national anthem and defending our flag, they’ve decided that they just won’t broadcast when they play the national anthem. We don’t like that.”
Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN’s new president, told reporters Friday the network will continue to air just the game, but if there is a “newsworthy” event, they will cover it. Last season, according to Axios, the anthem was televised on three occasions: during a moment of silence for hurricane victims, when a moment of silence was held to honor the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, and before the Dallas vs. Arizona game, which was after President Trump referred to players protesting as SOBs.
“We generally have not broadcasted the anthem, and I don’t think that will change this year,” Pitaro said Friday. “Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem … again that could change. It’s unpredictable what could happen in the world, but as of now, we’re not.”