The NFL has had a public relations problem ever since protests during the national anthem began and were linked to disrespect of the military, causing it to lose many fans for good.
But the league on Sunday did do something right by helping to ensure that the American Forces Network (AFN) would broadcast both the AFC and NFC championship games, even though it appeared that the AFN would not be up and running because of the government shutdown.
This means that U.S. military members overseas, if they so choose, can watch the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the New England Patriots, and the Philadelphia Eagles square up against the Minnesota Vikings.
It was reported Saturday that AFN would not be available, that according to a statement from the Pentagon.
Here’s what we’ve learned since from NFL public relations employee Brian McCarthy.
First McCarthy tweeted that games would be made available free of charge at USO Centers.
Then he said alternatives were being explored for military members due to the unavailability of AFN.
By Sunday morning, McCarthy announced that the AFN would air the games after all.
As Yahoo! Sports noted, it’s not clear at this time who was involved here behind the scenes and how they actually got the AFN up and running again, but it is notable that the NFL was aware of the issue and took steps to remedy the situation.
The story was clearly on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s radar. He retweeted Brian McCarthy earlier Sunday.