ESPN plans to live broadcast the national anthem before the San Francisco 49ers game on ESPN2 in the case that the Washington-Pittsburgh game is still going on.
The first Monday Night Football of the 2016-17 season will start with back to back games on Monday. Pittsburgh will play Washington in the first game followed immediately by a matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams. (RELATED: Kick Off The NFL Season With The Hottest Cheerleaders In The Game)
ESPN has altered their typical back to back broadcasting schedule to include coverage of the national anthem, which 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been protesting since preseason play, Sports Grid reports.
Both Monday night games will be broadcast on ESPN. Because the first game, starting at 7:10 pm ET, will likely bleed over into the coverage of the second game starting at 10:20 pm ET, ESPN will broadcast the national anthem live on ESPN2. (RELATED: MSNBC Guest’s BOLD Prediction About The National Anthem Protests)
Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal and viewers would miss out on the pregame and the first few minutes of the second game. But ESPN is expanding their coverage on another channel to ensure the live broadcast of the national anthem.
The cameras will likely be focused on Kaepernick, who plans to continue his protest of racial oppression by kneeling while the national anthem plays. Kaepernick’s teammate Eric Reid has joined him in protest as well.
As for the opposing Los Angeles Rams, expect to see them standing together. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher has made it very clear what the national anthem means for him and his team.
Before Kaepernick and others began protesting, Fisher instructed his team on how they should act during the anthem, which aired on HBO’s “Hard Knocks”. Fisher likes his entire team on the sideline with their helmets under their left arm. “This is important to me,” Fisher told his team. “It’s a respect thing. It’s self respect. It’s a respect for your teammates. It’s a respect for this game. It’s respect for this country. This is important to us.”
“It’s an opportunity to realize how lucky you are and what you’re doing,” Fisher added.
“I have not placed any demands on our players,” Fisher said to the San Francisco media Thursday, ESPN reports. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and we shared the same philosophy with the anthem. I understand full well the choices that are made, not only Kap’s coice but the choices that have been made over time. I do have, however a respect for the anthem and a respect for this country and respect for our flag. I have every right as a head coach and we have a right as an organization to express our feelings from that standpoint,” Fisher said, according to ESPN.