Heading in to the Thursday night NFL opener between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, it remained a question of how many players may protest during the national anthem and how it will be covered. As the anthem was being sung in Gillette Stadium, cornerback Marcus Peters of the Kansas City Chiefs was the lone player spotted showing any form of a demonstration.
The cameras certainly were on the lookout for any players who may be demonstrating any form of protest during the anthem, and one clearly got a hold of Peters sitting on a table on the Kansas City sideline. After the anthem performance, NBC play-by-play announcer Al Michaels handled the development like a pro by briefly addressing it for the record and turning it over to sideline reporter Michelle Tafoya for a regularly scheduled sideline update before kickoff.
Peters was the most likely candidate from the Kansas City sideline, given he has spent anthems riding a stationary bike or raising a fist during prior anthem performances on the Chiefs sideline. NBC didn’t spend much time on it, and there really was little reason to do so at this point. It’s a story fans are paying attention to, but after the anthem has concluded, it’s time to move on with the coverage. This was handled well by Michaels.