FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Colonial Media announced Tuesday its FM radio station will not air Saturday’s East Carolina football game following the Pirates’ marching band national anthem protest.
Several members of the marching band either took a knee or refused to play the National Anthem during the Oct. 1 game against Central Florida.
Colonial Media and Entertainment CEO Jeff Andrulonis called the band members’ protest “shameful.”
He said about a dozen members “disgraced themselves on the football field.”
“I’m proud of our country and I’m proud of our soldiers – especially our soldiers from Fort Bragg fighting for our country so I’ve decided that ESPN Fayetteville will ‘protest the protest,’” Andrulonis said.
Andrulonis said the U.S. Constitution’s “freedom of speech” protections gives them freedom to speak without fear of the government. But not the right to say or do whatever they want with no repercussions.
“I talked with some of our East Carolina football sponsors yesterday and will be talking with more of them today. So far, it has been unanimous,” Andrulonis said. “Every sponsor I’ve talked to agrees that last weekend’s spectacle at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium was shameful and a message needs to be sent.”
ESPN Fayetteville plans to carry the rest of the Pirates’ game this season beginning with their Oct. 13 game against Navy.