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ESPN will pass on showing live player protests during Week 4 of the NFL season. The Disney-owned network told Sporting News it won’t air the playing of the national anthem before Redskins vs. Chiefs on “Monday Night Football.”
The NFL’s TV partners normally do not show players before the unfurling of the American flag and singing/playing of the national anthem, except before the Super Bowl and other select games. But given viewer interest around players staging demonstrations last week, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, NFL Network and DirecTV all provided live anthem coverage during Week 3.
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The networks did not show instances of NFL fans booing or screaming at protesting players. When ESPN showed the live playing of the anthem before the Cowboys’ 28-17 win over the Cardinals on MNF last week, play-by-play announcer Sean McDonagh noted fans were booing, but ESPN didn’t show them. Said McDonagh: “God Bless America.”