NBC’s executive producer of the upcoming Super Bowl has vowed to show and discuss all player protests during the National Anthem, but he may be disappointed.
The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles are headed to this year’s Super Bowl, slated for Sunday Feb. 4. But, no player from either team has protested during the playing of the National Anthem since week 12 of the season.
After raising a fist in protest before the Eagle’s week 12 game against the Chicago Bears, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins announced the following week that he would end his Anthem protests, because he had succeeded in drawing attention to his social justice concerns. The NFL had recently announced it would donate nearly $100 million to social justice issues.
After 20 New England Patriots’ players knelt during the playing of the Anthem before the team’s game in week three, coach Bill Belichick rallied his players. Belichick and his players have all stood in respect during the Anthem for every game since, beginning with the October 1 contest against the Carolina Panthers.
Earlier this month, in a panel discussion of the Television Critics Association, NBC’s Fred Gaudelli – who also executive produces the network’s “Sunday Night Football” and “Thursday Night Football” games – said all Super Bowl protests will be shown live because they’re “what’s happening," and that their agenda would be explained “in a very concise way.”
After each week of the regular season, ESPN.com published a list, by team, of those NFL players who protested during the playing of the National Anthem before games.