The Super Bowl is probably the most watched television broadcast of the entire year. If you look at the television ratings going back the past several decades the Super Bowl always seems to be the most watched program of the entire year.
Not so sure about this year though. There are a heck of a lot of people that are going to be doing something else based on the fact that these protest during the National Anthem have made the watching pro football an out of the question situation for so many people that the NFL were cancelling national broadcasts of games that weren’t of consequence during the latter weeks of the season.
Then we get to the Super Bowl. Now, there are a lot of things that don’t get shown on television during other games in the NFL season like the playing of the National Anthem, but it’s about as present as a referee’s whistle during the biggest pro football game of the year.
The question here is, what is NBC going to do concerning the anthem protests; which you know in your heart that someone is going to do given that they at that point would be on an international stage.
U.S. television network NBC, broadcaster of this year’s Super Bowl, will show any players who kneel during the pre-game national anthem to protest racial inequality, the game’s executive producer said on Tuesday.
Several dozen National Football League players kneeled, sat or locked arms during “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the regular season, drawing rebukes from President Donald Trump who called it unpatriotic. Game broadcasters showed the protests during the initial weeks but reduced coverage of them later.
The anthem is typically shown live before the Super Bowl and this year will be performed by pop singer Pink at the Feb. 4 championship.
If any players decide to kneel at the Super Bowl, NBC will cover it, executive producer Fred Gaudelli said at a Television Critics Association event in Pasadena, California.
“When you are covering a live event, you are covering what’s happening,” Gaudelli said. “If there are players who choose to kneel, they will be shown live.”
Announcers likely will identify the players, explain the reasons behind the actions, “and then get on with the game,” Gaudelli said.
He also noted that the number of protests had waned since Thanksgiving.
The players who kneeled during the regular season said they were protesting the killing by police of unarmed black men and boys across the United States, as well as racial disparities in the criminal justice system. More than half of all NFL players are black.