On the NHL’s opening Saturday night hockey fans were served up some incredible entertainment headlined by another incredible scoring outburst from the Toronto Maple Leafs, a second hat trick from Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin and a thrilling home opener for the Vancouver Canucks against the Edmonton Oilers. But the news story that go everyone’s attention was Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown and his statement during the singing of the national anthem.
Prior to the Lightning’s game against the Florida Panthers, the 27-year-old forward raised a fist during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner as an act of silent protest against racism and police brutality in the United States. He became the first NHLer to make such a statement, following dozens of protests throughout the NFL the past few weeks.
Now a day later, Brown is sharing why he made his stance and is revealing the awful backlash that he has received as a result.
I have respect for those who put their life on the line to protect and serve their community. I have had both negative and positive encounters with police officers so to say all police officers are bad would be false.
Again, this is about bringing awareness to the real issues and not changing the narrative. My @'s on Twitter alone prove why this topic must be talked about.
I have received racist remarks and death threats because they disagree with how I choose to raise awareness. We need to be able to listen to those with an opposing view and talk to one another if he want to learn, grow, and make change.
Death threats!? It’s one thing to not agree with another person’s beliefs or politics, but it’s NOT OKAY to threaten their life because of it. Regardless of how you feel about what Brown did, he has not hurt anyone as a result of his actions. To claim that he should be hurt, or murdered, as a result of his actions is indefensible. Hopefully the NHL will step up and do what’s right, prosecute those responsible.
Source: J.T. Brown
Photo Credit: Keystone Press