CBS Pulls Rihanna Song From NFL Pregame Show in Light of Ray Rice Scandal
'Thursday Night Football' is changing its format to offer updates on the story
CBS Sports is making changes to Thursday Night Football's pregame show this week as a result of the NFL's Ray Rice scandal, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Among the changes: The opening segment was to have included a piece with Don Cheadle providing voiceover to Rihanna's “Run This Town." Rihanna was famously the victim of domestic violence.
The pregame show also was going to feature CBS Sports and NFL Network personalities talking football ahead of the game.
Instead, the pregame will now open with the latest developments on the Rice story, with CBS This Morning anchor Norah O’Donnell providing updates.
“We thought journalistically and from a tone standpoint, we needed to have the appropriate tone and coverage," CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told SI.com. "A lot of the production elements we wanted in the show are being eliminated.”
The Baltimore Ravens, which waived Rice on Monday, will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Thursday's game. The preshow coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely after video surfaced of the running back knocking out his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel. The NFL had been criticized for not punishing Rice more severely when the charges of domestic abuse first surfaced months ago.