NBC’s Super Bowl LII coverage: Pink, the National Anthem, and kneeling players

Xena: Warrior PrincessNBC knows that they have a gigantic broadcast on their hands in Super Bowl LII. This is the highest-rated broadcast of the entire year by far, and they’re going to pull out all of the stops to make it a hit.

With that, why wouldn’t they want to hire Pink (or P!nk, if you prefer the way that she likes to spell her name these days) to sing the National Anthem? It routinely is one of the biggest and most-seen performances of an entire artist’s career; while the Anthem is a tough song, it makes sense that almost anyone would want to sing it.

Yet, this is also a very different year than most for the National Anthem, largely because of players kneeling in protest of police brutality. It’s dominated the headlines, and many have blamed sagging NFL ratings at times during the season on counter-protests by those upset with some of the players.

For NBC, this poses a question: Do you show kneeling players during the Anthem and risk your own viewership; or, do you keep the focus on Pink in order to steer clear of controversy? It sounds as though NBC has already made their decision when it comes to what they want to do here.

Speaking per The Hollywood Reporter while at TCA this week, the Super Bowl’s executive producer Fred Gaudelli had the following to say on whether or not players could kneel:

“It’s certainly possible … It was a pretty big story in our country this fall. We’d show it. When you’re covering a live event, you’re covering what’s happening. If there are players who chose to kneel, they will be shown live.”

If you’re concerned over the controversy, just know about this in advance. Ultimately, one way or another, we do think that the big game is meant mostly to be about fun, crazy, and getting everyone together in order to watch a lot of television. Also, the commercials are often hilarious and we hope that they are this year — we are absolutely hoping for a laugh or two this year.

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