Chris Long not amused by Danica Patrick's national anthem controversy joke at ESPYs

Danica Patrick was tasked with hosting Wednesday’s ESPY Awards, ESPN’s annual broadcast answer to filling the slowest day on the sports calendar.

It can be a tough gig for an athlete who is expected to step on stage in front of a national TV audience and be funny. Plenty of professional comedians fall flat in these sorts of hosting gigs, so for someone who’s not paid to be funny for a living, there are plenty of potholes to dodge.

Danica Patrick takes on anthem controversy at ESPYs

Maybe Patrick should have thought better of broaching a topic as hot and controversial as the NFL’s national anthem policy. We’re not saying that the subject is completely off limits for jokes. Just that this is territory best left to the pros.

Her monologue joke implying the real anthem controversy was over Fergie’s atrocious rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner at February’s NBA All-Star Game fell flat.

Chris Long not amused

And it drew a particularly strong rebuke from Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long, who has been a vocal critic of the NFL’s stance on protests during the national anthem.

Long, surely made aware that his response was caught on camera by an astute TV production crew and catching traction on social media, took to Twitter to clarify that he didn’t think Patrick’s joke was bad, but that he was referring to Fergie’s All-Star anthem.

Sure, Chris. Whatever you say.

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Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers together
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Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers together
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 18: NFL player Aaron Rodgers (L) and host Danica Patrick attend The 2018 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 18: NFL player Aaron Rodgers (L) and host Danica Patrick attend The 2018 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
THE 2018 ESPYS - This Wednesday, the worlds best athletes and biggest stars will join host Danica Patrick for 'The 2018 ESPYS Presented by Capital One' on ABC. The star-studded evening celebrates the best moments from the year in sports and will air live on ABC, July 18 from 8:00-11:00 p.m. EDT, from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Image Group LA via Getty Images) AARON RODGERS, DANICA PATRICK
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 18: Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 GoDaddy Chevrolet, stands with Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, on the grid prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 60th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 18: Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 GoDaddy Chevrolet, stands with Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, on the grid prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 60th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Apr 20, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers look on nduring the first quarter of game three of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs between the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 20: Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers watch the game from court-side seats. The Boston Celtics visit the Milwaukee Bucks for Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2018 NBA Playoffs at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI on April 20, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27: Danica Patrick, driver of the #13 GoDaddy Chevrolet kisses Aaron Rodgers prior to the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on May 27, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Feb 18, 2018; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Danica Patrick (7) shares a kiss with her boyfriend Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers prior to the start of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 27: Danica Patrick is kissed by her boyfriend Aaron Rodgers before the start of the Indianapolis 500 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 27, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
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Danica’s other monologue gems

Patrick produced a few other groans and chuckles during her monologue, including jokes about sex at Catholic schools …

Tiger Woods’ struggles on the golf course …

and LeBron James’ hairline.

While Patrick is unlikely to get a Netflix special from her comedy stylings, she did appear to embrace the corniness of her jokes and had the guts to get up there in the first place, so bravo.

Just maybe stay away from the flaming hot topics in the future.

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