When sports channel ESPN chose not to air singer Kaya Jones singing “God Bless America” at a University of Las Vegas game over the weekend, it deprived Americans of a moment that should have been shared everywhere.
So Jones went rogue and posted online what the sports network did not have the courage to air.
Independent Journal Review reported that leading up to the Jones’ rendition of the song, both teams were escorted on the field by first responders and Las Vegas police officers. Active-duty members of the military then unfurled a giant American flag on the field.
Hundreds of people seated in the stadium held up lighters and cell phones that twinkled behind Jones as she sang “God Bless America,” and when she finished the song, first responders released 58 balloons into the sky to honor those who died in the shooting.
It’s understandable that Jones would be upset that ESPN chose not to show the tribute. She happened to be at the country music festival when the shooting began.
The singer posted a video of the occasion to her YouTube account.
Take a look:
In a post to Twitter, the singer said, “It was about the victims last night not politics yet it wasn’t shown to America. @espn made a choice. So I went to U”
Jones was clear that the moment was about people, and that ESPN made the wrong choice when it decided to cut the camera.
It’s a shame that the sports channel has allowed itself to become mired with politics to the point that it cannot air a tribute to those who lost their lives, yet it has no problem showing football players disrupting and disrespecting the national anthem.
Choosing not to air the Jones singing “God Bless America” was an unfortunate but unsurprising example of how the network has drifted away from the real meaning of sports.
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