President Donald Trump launches petition against ESPN's 'spineless' national anthem policy

President Donald Trump has the national anthem on his mind as the NFL season approaches. (AP)
President Donald Trump has the national anthem on his mind as the NFL season approaches. (AP)

With just weeks to go before the NFL’s regular season, President Donald Trump once again has the national anthem on his mind. Trump started a petition urging people to denounce ESPN’s “spineless” national anthem policy.

President Donald Trump starts petition against ESPN

Trump sent out the petition Wednesday in an email. It reads:


Just after we heard a sitting governor trash America, ESPN has now decided it will no longer play the National Anthem before Monday Night Football.

If “America” is too offensive for anyone in our country, then what are they doing in America?

I’m calling on you to join me in denouncing this SPINELESS surrender to the politically correct liberal mob.

I was the first person to sign this petition. Now I need you to follow me lead and be the second.”

Under the message, the email contains an area where people can sign their name to the petition.

Is ESPN no longer playing the anthem before Monday Night Football?

ESPN is returning to an old company policy and not televising the national anthem before NFL games are played during the upcoming season. The network showed the national anthem three times last season.

ESPN isn’t the only channel that won’t air the anthem

Other networks have decided to adopt a similar policy this season, according to USA Today. Fox Sports has reportedly decided to air the national anthem only during special broadcasts — like Veterans Day. NBC Sports said the network hadn’t finalized any plans yet.

A CBS Sports spokesperson told USA Today that the network has no plans to air the anthem before broadcasts. That’s not a new policy as CBS Sports has not aired the anthem in past years.

President Donald Trump continues crusade against ESPN and the NFL

This is far from the first time Trump has taken on ESPN or the NFL. He’s made players kneeling during the national anthem a major talking point, and has been critical of both players and NFL executives.

ESPN has also been a frequent target for Trump. He feuded with network personality Jemele Hill, and has taken shots at ESPN on Twitter.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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