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Published On: Sun, Oct 1st, 2017

Sporting News: Camera operators at NFL games told to avoid crowd shots of ‘counterprotests’, players go ‘Black Power’

Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest had fizzled by the end of last season, but with President Donald Trump’s attacking the protesting NFL players, the league’s TV partners decided to air live coverage of the national anthem before Week 3 games. The Sporting News revealed that the “Booing” and counterprotesting by fans is being purposely downplayed by the networks.

Now in week four, some players stand, but raise a fist, pointing to the Black Power movement of the 1960s.

“One behind-the-scenes TV staffer at another stadium told Sporting News that camera operators were ordered to avoid crowd shots in case they showed fans counterprotesting the protests.”

photo screenshot of video coverage via twitter

They added: “NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN pay billions each year to televise live NFL games. The league saw this weekend’s unprecedented anthem coverage as a golden opportunity to demonstrate unity among players, coaches and owners — and opposition to Trump’s comments.”

During ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” telecast of the Cowboys-Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz., play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough noted, “Boos can be heard from this sellout crowd” as Jerry Jones and the Cowboys collectively took a knee. The visuals were not shared.

Live mics have picked up the Boos heard from fans at different games. During week one the Cleveland police union protested the national anthem in protest of national anthem protesters. They vowed that “…they won’t hold the American flag for a pregame ceremony during the Browns’ season opener Sept. 10. A dozen Browns players, including the first white anthem protester, took a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner” in an Aug. 21 preseason game.”

Some fans made headlines as they released videos of themselves burning their NFL merchandise.

Covering the anthem has been for political reasons anyway, since most of the TV time is sold to advertisers.

“The standard procedure is not to show them because of the way the commercial format works and the timing of the anthem to get to the kickoff,” Fox Sports President Eric Shanks said (via Newsday) Tuesday. “So I think we’re going to pay attention to events.”

President Trump had tweeted at NFL players about the anthem, writing Saturday night: “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!”

ESPN now posts a “What every NFL team did during the anthem” to cash in on the divisive topic.

“Los Angeles Rams: Outside linebacker Robert Quinn raised his right fist in the air…,” their article noted. Regarding those Browns players: “About midway through the anthem, eight to 10 players raised their right fist, including running back Isaiah Crowell, linebacker Chris Kirksey and tight end Randall Telfer.”

 

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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