CBS Sports Chairman Says NFL Broadcasters Are Free To Discuss Social Issues

With social issues becoming a growing and unavoidable dimension adding a complex and often sticky dynamic to an NFL broadcast, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus addressed The Shadow League and a room of reporters at The NFL on CBS” and Thursday Night Football” Media Day held inside of CBS corporate headquarters in Manhattan. He covered everything from the addition of Tony Romo to the company’s approach to protests and off-the-field issues. 

Cristina Tuso CBS 58 on Twitter

A student of the game, insightful comments and doesn’t take himself too seriously.” Chairman of @CBSSports Sean McManus on Tony Romo.

As far as discussing Colin Kaepernick or any other social issues that may arise during this unpredictable upcoming NFL season, McManus denied that CBS has imposed any new rules or limits for its on-air talent. In fact, McManus says that he is all for his announcers speaking their minds. 

We encourage our play-by-play personalities to express their opinions, said McManus, former President of both CBS Sports and CBS News from 2005 to 2011. “If there is an issue that they have an opinion or thought on, then they are free to express it. I have said, however that we are there to broadcast football games and not get involved in political or social issues. So I dont think youll see a lot of commentary on the part of our commentary teams, but if they have an opinion they want to express, then they are free to express it. 

We will document what happens on the field and if that turns out to be a story…Just as we did last year, we will continue to document it. But no advice to them and no rules for our announcers as far as thats concerned or as far as any social issue is concerned. But we do like to primarily stick to football coverage which is why I think the fans tune in and thats to watch a game, not really to hear the opinions our announcers may have about whats going on off the field.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.