The NFL season official began yesterday evening and, less than 24 hours into the season, anthem protests are already back in the news. Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters chose to sit during the anthem before his team’s victory against the New England Patriots.
The Browns protested in preseason and there were also calls for people to boycott the NFL. The big question now is not just whether these protests will help bring attention to the issue of police brutality, but how they’ll effect coverage and the public perception. Marketwatch.com
has already begun questioning whether these issues could hurt the NFL’s “bottom line”.
Richie Zyontz, a lead producer at Fox Sports, sat down with Sports Illustrated
to discuss how the media plans to cover the protests:
“Opinions are split: Some feel it has no place in the broadcast; others feel it’s part of the game story. Our boss Eric Shanks, similar to last season, has asked us to acknowledge what our cameras see without dwelling on it, and I totally agree. I think we should document what transpires during the national anthem on both sidelines. I don’t think it would be right to show a single player without the context of his teammates … [but] to ignore it would be negligent.”
As if they didn’t already have enough bad press, this is the league’s first season back since studies revealed a nearly 99% rate of brain damage
in former NFL players. And, while those issues may not effect the games themselves, it’s sure sets an interesting scene for the NFL’s 2017-18 season.