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Radio station drops ECU game following anthem protest by band members

College Football, East Carolina Pirates

A North Carolina radio station will not air East Carolina's football game Saturday following last weekend's protest staged by members of the Pirates' marching band.

WFAY-AM in Fayetteville, North Carolina, announced Tuesday that it would not carry the Pirates' game at South Florida. The move comes after approximately a dozen ECU band members kneeled during the anthem before the game against Central Florida to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

Band officials issued an apology Monday.

Colonial Radio Group president and CEO Jeff Andrulonis said sponsors agree with the decision, but he'll lose advertising revenue.

"I'm proud of our country and I'm proud of our soldiers -- especially our soldiers from Fort Bragg fighting for our country -- so I've decided that ESPN Fayetteville will 'protest the protest,'" Andrulonis said.

The station is an ESPN Radio affiliate, and it plans to carry the rest of the Pirates' games this season.

The band members were following the lead of several NFL players who have kneeled at games, beginning with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the anthem before preseason games.

Andrulonis, however, said the protest was "shameful" and the band members "disgraced themselves."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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