There are many NFL storylines that Ross Tucker can’t wait to follow this season, but there’s one that he could do without.
“I’ll tell you what I’m not looking forward to is more national-anthem conversation,” the former NFL player and current NFL analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I get a lot of tweets, people that listen to my podcast or my Sirius show, I get a lot of tweets from people saying, ‘If these guys don’t stand for the anthem, I’m not going to watch.’ Now, I don’t know if I really believe that, but I do know there is a high level of frustration among people about their perception of politics coming into the NFL. They look at the NFL as a diversion. They go to the NFL or sports to get away from the issues that exist in our country socially, politically, etc. So the last thing they want is to feel like that’s being thrown back in their face.
“Now the flip side to that is do we know if these people really stop watching as a result of that?” Tucker continued. “Most of them haven’t even showed the national anthem on television, so are you really going to stop? Then it almost becomes up to the networks themselves. But I think the networks would argue, ‘It’s news, and that’s part of our job: to show the news and explain what happened because people that turn into a Raiders or a Seahawks game are going to want to know whether or not Marshawn Lynch or Michael Bennett stood for the anthem that day. They’re curious.”