When Super Bowl LII takes place Feb. 4 in Minneapolis, it will dispense with the traditional pre-Super Bowl Presidential Interview. Deadline reports that Donald Trump told NBC, which is televising the game, that he won’t be taking part this year.
“NBC has taken the high road, extending an open invitation to Trump, in case he changes his mind, a network source tells Deadline,” the story reports, adding: “It’s unclear why Trump has turned down the invitation for what has become a pre-Game tradition.”
The report notes that Barack Obama did a pre-game interview every year of his presidency. Deadline speculates that it’s possible Trump “doesn’t want a repeat of last year’s interview — the first of Trump’s administration, in which he was interviewed on Fox by his friend and Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly; that interview clocked 12.2 million viewers, significantly fewer than Obama’s interviews.”
The report notes that Obama’s first pre-Super Bowl interview, which aired on NBC, averaged 21.9 million viewers. Deadline also notes: “And, of course, Trump is the leader of the anti-NFL movement, having launched, in September, an attack on players who kneeled in protest during the national anthem.”