CBS lead NFL play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz was caught on a hot mic sharing an honest and controversial opinion about the National Anthem protests going on in the NFL. Remember those protests that were lighting the internet on fire and now the media has sorta stopped paying attention to.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) October 14, 2016
‘They’re going to keep kneeling, as long as we keep putting cameras in their face’, a voice that sounds like Nantz is heard saying. The clip comes from a Thursday Night Football game between the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals in September, when Dolphins Kenny Stills and Michael Thomas, as they’ve done every game this season, kneeled during the National Anthem.
He isn’t really wrong, the point of a protest is to attract attention to a cause. Nantz’s tone suggests he doesn’t want the networks to pay any attention to the protests and stop showing them during the anthem.
I can understand why Nantz would loath these protests and want them to end. The longer they go on the more he needs to address them, being he is the lead announcer for CBS’s NFL coverage. All Nantz wants to do during a broadcast is talk football, I don’t think I can remember any type of meaningful/controversial opinion he’s every let out on air and it doesn’t appear as if he wanted his opinion out on this topic either. He has had countless opportunities to address the protests during a telecast and this was caught off camera by a live mic.
His comments were kinda boneheaded and aren’t going to help his quest for these anthem protests to go away. Also, beware the hot mic and if this hot mic was your fault, maybe you should update your resume.
The damning part of Nantz’s leaked comments, is no protests were shown live last night during the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers game. Recordings of Broncos linebacker kneeling and various Chargers raising their fists were used later in the broadcast, but not live during the anthem. Suggesting some sort of conspiracy to weed them out of the broadcast.
Mike Florio on Pro Football Talk pointed out that Nantz did hijack the broadcast at the outset of the fourth quarter to point out several players paying respect to God Bless America:
“By the way, a lot of discussion and scrutiny about the national anthem,” Nantz said. “Just to be fair here, during the quarter change they played God Bless America. Philip Rivers, in the middle of a drive, he paused and was singing. You see in the background, Melvin Ingram along with Jatavis Brown with their hands over their heart.”
“Good sight,” Phil Simms added.
The exchange, along with Nantz’s suggestion that “fairness” in some way required the footage to be shown, could be interpreted as an effort to underscore the perception that those who stand for the anthem (or who sing God Bless America) are patriotic — and that those who don’t aren’t.
The protesting players (and many others) believe that there’s nothing unpatriotic about exercising the right to protest the anthem.
Nantz and many want this topic to go away, maybe Nantz can do something like create his own player of the game award and give the player his neck time? That idea has potential and is controversy free. Take the camera time away from the social activists and give more of it to the self-aggrandizing broadcaster.
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