The NFL decided it wasn’t going to make a move to please its fans when it took no action against players kneeling in protest during the playing of the National Anthem before football games. Fox and ESPN did not feel the same and decided that it was in their best interest to not air the pre-game demonstrations.
While protesting players have insisted that they’re only bringing awareness to police brutality in America, many fans believe that their decision to protest during America’s anthem broadens the scope of who and what they’re protesting.
It doesn’t help that ringleader Colin Kaepernick chose to wear socks depicting police officers as pigs, a common insult to all law enforcement officers, not just the few overly aggressive ones. It doesn’t help pacify conservative fans either that some NFL players have walked onto the field bearing symbols and messages attached to Black Lives Matter, a protest group that has violently clashed with police more than once.
That’s why, for the sake of slowing the steep rating drops, some networks have chosen to simply not air the kneeling protests and keep the focus on the game, according to the Washington Examiner. Now NBC has released their decision on how to handle a possible protest at the Super Bowl.
According to The Hill, NBC Sports will most definitely air the National Anthem and any protest attached to it. In fact, they made it clear they that will make sure to show each and every athlete that kneels.
NBC Sports Executive Producer Fred Gaudelli explained on Tuesday, “When you are covering a live event, you are covering what’s happening. If there are players who choose to kneel, they will be shown live.”
Gaudelli also revealed that NBC will name each protesting athlete as they show them and will educate viewers on the nature of the demonstration. The Hill notes that the audience seeing NBC’s coverage of the kneelers is expected to be huge, noting that 112.2 million people watched last year’s Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl is set to take place Feb. 4 in Minneapolis. Justin Timberlake will headline the halftime show, according to Sports Illustrated. Pink, the pop star who says she’s raising her children to be gender-neutral, according to Newsweek, will sing the National Anthem.
Are you planning to watch? In other news, Candace Cameron Bure is asking for prayer for victims of a terrifying, ongoing natural disaster in the U.S.