CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - A decision by NBC to edit part of the Pledge of Allegiance during a taped piece that aired at the beginning of Sunday's U.S. Open coverage has created controversy and prompted network officials to apologize.

WRCB is not owned by NBC and not operated by NBC. The Chattanooga television is independently operated and not responsible for decisions made at the network level.

Here's a statement from the NBC network in New York:

We understand your concern over the beginning of our U.S. Open coverage on Sunday. 

We are aware of the distress this has caused many of our viewers and are taking the issue very seriously.

Unfortunately, when producing the piece – which was intended to capitalize on the patriotism of having our national championship played in our nation's capital – a decision was made by a small group of people to edit portions of the Pledge of Allegiance.

This was a bad decision.

As soon as management became aware of this decision and the controversy it justifiably created, it immediately took steps to correct it resulting in an on-air apology provided by NBC Sports' lead golf commentator Dan Hicks.

It was not the intent of NBC to upset anyone and we sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended.

Thank you again for taking the time to voice your concerns.


Chris McCloskey

Vice President, Communications

NBCUniversal Sports & Olympics

The local person in charge of WRCB is Tom Tolar, President & General Manager. He explains the following to viewers in the Tennessee Valley:

WRCB (and most NBC Affiliates) is not owned by NBC.  We have no control over their decisions. If you watched the U.S. Open Sunday, you know that NBC Sports aired The Pledge of Allegiance; but, the words "under God" were omitted.  

We forwarded a copy of all complaints to our contacts at the network.  During the telecast, NBC Sports announced that regrettably the word had been edited out of The Pledge and apologized to everyone who was offended. 

WRCB would never have edited "under God" out of The Pledge.