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Photo by AMA/Corbis via Getty Images

ESPN will not be broadcasting the national anthem before Monday Night Football games this year, President Jimmy Pitaro told reporters Friday.

Why it matters: The singing of the national anthem became politicized two years ago when then-backup San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem in protest of the mistreatment of people of color in the United States. The issue has since been further dragged into politics due to President Trump's interest in the subject.

"We generally have not broadcasted the anthem and I don't think that will change this year. Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem."
— Jimmy Pitaro, President of ESPN

Pitaro says ESPN is not a political organization and that it will only cover political topics as they pertain to sports coverage and storytelling.

"It's not our job to cover politics, purely, but we'll cover the intersection of sports and politics. When something happens, when the Eagles are disinvited from the White House, or when someone takes a knee, if we think it's newsworthy, we're going to cover it."
— Pitaro

The bigger picture: ESPN and other broadcasters have had to grapple with whether or not they will showcase the national anthem in light of the news events around the tradition. Speaking to reporters, ESPN Senior Vice President for Event & Studio Production Stephanie Druley says "this has always been our standing operating procedure."

  • She explained the network only aired the anthem three times last year when athletes were protesting because of simultaneous news events — a moment of silence for a hurricane, a moment of silence for the Las Vegas shooting and at the Dallas vs. Arizona game.

Asked about the policy, the Monday Night Football anchors said they agreed that it's a tough subject and should be covered if it's newsworthy.

  • Joe Tessitore: "If it's newsworthy and something to cover, well cover it."
  • Jason Witten: "Being a player last year it was a challenging time ... As a team going through that it wasn't easy to go through it."

Go deeper: The history of singing the national anthem before NFL games

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A picture in the memorial that has photographs of some of the victims from the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on July 15 in Surfside, Florida. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Firefighters on Friday concluded their search for bodies at the site of the June 24 collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida.

Driving the news: 97 people were killed and one woman, Estelle Hedaya, remains missing.

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Jill Biden cheers on Team USA at Tokyo Olympics

Jill Biden congratulates U.S. women 3x3 basketball team after the first round 3x3 basketball match. Photo: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

First lady Jill Biden attended three Olympic events on Saturday and hosted a watch party at the U.S. Embassy for the Team USA-Mexico softball game.

Driving the news: On her first day as a spectator at the Games, Biden attended a women's 3x3 basketball game, cheered on American swimmers during preliminary heats and caught the second half of the U.S. women's soccer game against New Zealand.