Why this sad goodbye to national anthem protesters by ‘Today’ anchor showed that we’re far from free of bigotry

After nearly 20 years at the same news desk, two longtime sports anchors are showing wearers of the national anthem the door and moving onto new roles at stations in New York and Virginia.

For a generation of women who were coming of age around the time the “Take the Knee” movement broke out, Magdalena Eriksson and Jess Carter’s departure from NBC’s “Today” and “Today in the Morning” correspondents show that we’re still far from a society free of bigotry. And we have only one president to thank for bringing it to the surface.

Here’s how I saw the two last week on the afternoon news at NBC’s D.C. affiliate, NBC 4:

When Eriksson showed up to anchor two days before her bombshell departure was announced, I watched, a little unsure of how something so dramatic would play. Much to my surprise, it was friendly and light and reminiscent of her days with the Stones, which is not all that difficult to believe.

A few days later, the first caller on her afternoon anchor job at NBC News station WAVY-TV in Norfolk, Va., called in to complain about the NFL players who were kneeling during the national anthem.

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