Censorship is very much alive in America and the NFL and their TV partners are part of the problem.
The NFL’s TV partners aired live coverage of the national anthem but refused to show live shots of booing fans. Camera operators were told not to show the scores of angry fans in the crowd. In the past, networks didn’t air the national anthem unless it’s something big like the Super Bowl but they recognized there would be intense viewer interest this past weekend thanks to the protests.
All across the country fans who attended games let the players know how they felt with loud boos that echoed across the stadium. Even still, the networks kept the cameras fixed on the field and far away from the angry crowds.
Sporting News reported:
During NBC’s telecast of “Sunday Night Football” in Landover, Md., we got plenty close-up views of Raiders and Redskins sitting or linking arms during the anthem. The fans were strictly in the background.
Fans booing Jets and Dolphins players were loud and clear during CBS’s telecast from East Rutherford, N.J. But we never saw them. Instead, we got a lot of field-level shots of linked arms players and saluting police officers.
ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” only showed one fan during the national anthem and that fan was holding an American flag. With all the booing in the stands, you would think a shot or two of the fans would have happened.
A segment of Patriots fans in Foxborough, Mass., for example, nearly booed their own players off the field when some Pats sat or kneeled, with some screaming, “Stand up!”
— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) September 24, 2017
A CBS spokeswoman claimed no one ever gave an order to ignore crowds but the proof is everywhere. If the networks didn’t give such an order then why wasn’t there a single shot of the crowds?
If crowd shots were indeed purposely avoided, it was a wise business decision by the networks not to bite the hand that feeds them their most popular programming, but a weak move to avoid the complete picture. By covering one of the most significant days in NFL history with rose-colored glasses, the networks cheated viewers.