ESPN's 'Monday Night Football' will break with tradition and air the national anthem tonight

ESPN’s presentation of “Monday Night Football” will break with tradition and televise the national anthem tonight, ESPN insiders tell The Wrap.

The network’s airing of the national anthem before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals comes amid a prominent protest movement of kneeling during the anthem, which saw more than 200 players participate on Sunday.

The movement has received repeated condemnation from President Trump, who in turn has faced backlash from NFL owners, athletes, and celebrities.

While The Wrap speculates that televising the anthem could capitalise on ratings intrigue in the wake of a national news story, “Monday Night Football” and NFL broadcasts at large have seen a big decline in ratings.

In week two, “Monday Night Football” ratings dropped 14% in live and same-day average viewers compared to the same week in 2016, according to UBS.

Overall, the league saw a 12% drop in ratings in week one and a 15% drop in week two, according to Nielsen.

And the protest controversy sparked by Trump hasn’t exactly been a ratings boon for all NFL games. The “Sunday Night Football” match-up between the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins was down around 12.9% compared to last year’s game in the same week, according to Reuters.

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