ESPN president: We won't cover National Anthem during Monday Night Football

New ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro told reporters the network would not televise the National Anthem before its Monday Night Football broadcast.

There was some speculation that ESPN, which hasn't been shy about covering politics, might break with precedent and show the protests of players during the playing of the anthem.

But, according to the story in USA Today, Pitano "bristled" at the suggestion that ESPN is a political network.

Pitaro, who was hired March 5 following the abrupt departure of John Skipper, told reporters at a media event on ESPN's campus in Bristol, Conn., that the network has not previously shown the national anthem during its Monday Night Football broadcasts and does not have plans to change – at least, not in the immediate future.

According to Axios, Pitaro also said that ESPN has informed the league of its plans "as (a) courtesy" given their partnership.  Earlier, he had told reporters that he has spent much of his young tenure at ESPN working to strengthen the company's relationship with the NFL.

ESPN pays about $2 billion per year for the right to broadcast Monday Night Football , according to the Associated Press

Not only is ESPN a political network; it is a blatantly partisan political network.  With players in most major sports spouting off on politics ignorantly and many ESPN reporters and commentators egging them on, the network is pushing a partisan agenda – both in game and on every other show broadcast by the network.

It's not surprising that sports reporters are frustrated political reporters.  In fact, early political journalists were drawn from the ranks of sports reporters – the belief being that politics is akin to a horse race, and who better to tell that story than a sports reporter?

Political journalism evolved beyond that, but modern sports reporting is all about opinion – this player stinks or that one is brilliant, the coach is a putz or a genius, etc.  It becomes easy for sports reporters to glide into political commentary as an extension of their opinionated views on sports.

This is not what the average sports fan wants to listen to.  It's one thing to cover the anthem protests as a news story.  It's quite another to take a position one way or another on whether the point of the protesters is valid or whether the protests even belong in sports.

If Pitano thinks his network isn't political, he is either lying or in for a big surprise.

New ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro told reporters the network would not televise the National Anthem before its Monday Night Football broadcast.

There was some speculation that ESPN, which hasn't been shy about covering politics, might break with precedent and show the protests of players during the playing of the anthem.

But, according to the story in USA Today, Pitano "bristled" at the suggestion that ESPN is a political network.

Pitaro, who was hired March 5 following the abrupt departure of John Skipper, told reporters at a media event on ESPN's campus in Bristol, Conn., that the network has not previously shown the national anthem during its Monday Night Football broadcasts and does not have plans to change – at least, not in the immediate future.

According to Axios, Pitaro also said that ESPN has informed the league of its plans "as (a) courtesy" given their partnership.  Earlier, he had told reporters that he has spent much of his young tenure at ESPN working to strengthen the company's relationship with the NFL.

ESPN pays about $2 billion per year for the right to broadcast Monday Night Football , according to the Associated Press

Not only is ESPN a political network; it is a blatantly partisan political network.  With players in most major sports spouting off on politics ignorantly and many ESPN reporters and commentators egging them on, the network is pushing a partisan agenda – both in game and on every other show broadcast by the network.

It's not surprising that sports reporters are frustrated political reporters.  In fact, early political journalists were drawn from the ranks of sports reporters – the belief being that politics is akin to a horse race, and who better to tell that story than a sports reporter?

Political journalism evolved beyond that, but modern sports reporting is all about opinion – this player stinks or that one is brilliant, the coach is a putz or a genius, etc.  It becomes easy for sports reporters to glide into political commentary as an extension of their opinionated views on sports.

This is not what the average sports fan wants to listen to.  It's one thing to cover the anthem protests as a news story.  It's quite another to take a position one way or another on whether the point of the protesters is valid or whether the protests even belong in sports.

If Pitano thinks his network isn't political, he is either lying or in for a big surprise.