Fox Sports wants to remind us all that despite the “Sports” indentifier — it’s still Fox. Last week, Fox Sports aired the national anthem from games as more than 250 players “took a knee” during the anthem to protest President Trump calling for NFL players to be fired for what he says as disrespect to the flag. President Trump went so far as to toss around the term “son of a bitch,” which prompted the mother of Colin Kaepernick — seen as the trailblazer of this type of peaceful protest — to tweet how proud she was of her son.
Guess that makes me a proud bitch!
— Teresa Kaepernick (@B4IleaveU) September 23, 2017
The network said in a statement to Sports Illustrated that it would no longer air coverage of the national anthem before its NFL games.
“As we have in previous broadcasts of NFL games from London, Fox will show the National Anthem as well as God Save the Queen live. As is standard procedure, regionalized coverage of NFL game airing on FOX this Sunday will not show the National Anthem live; however, our cameras are always rolling and we will document the response of players and coaches on the field.”
So this is what an open endorsement of Ignorance Is Bliss looks like. Having never given it much thought, I suppose there crossover between Murdoch’s chosen media narrative and the sports channel, but this seems a poor strategy. It’s actually almost off-brand. Shouldn’t Fox Sports be working their viewers into a frothy mess of impotent privileged rage cloaked as “patriotism?” That would feel very Fox to me. Instead the network is petulantly saying that it is counter-protesting this cause by refusing to air what we all know is happening. That just seems dumb, even by Fox standards.