In case you missed it this past weekend, Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba became the first NHLer to officially “take a knee” during the singing of the U.S. national anthem as a form of silent protest against racial injustice. Dumba made an impassioned speech before the Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers dropped the puck for Game One of their qualifying series. The next evening Dumba raised a fist into the air while the anthem played prior to his team’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.
Check it all out below:
Then yesterday evening Dallas Stars forwards Tyler Seguin and Jason Dickinson, as well as Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner and forward Ryan Reaves elected to join Dumba in silent protest by taking a knee during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner prior to their Round Robin Series game.
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Suffice it to say that this statement on behalf of Seguin, Dickinson, Lehner and Reaves made waves across not just the NHL, with thousands of fans viciously attacking the players online simply because they don't agree with their right to protest the national anthem.
Well... Ryan Reaves has a message for all those fans.
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“I have the utmost respect for everybody that’s gone over and fought and died for the freedom of this country… But at the same time, those people go across seas, they go to way, families are torn apart in these wards for the freedom of this country only to come back and find out this country isn’t free for everybody. That’s where I’m coming from.”
Agree with Reaves or not, he does have the right to peaceful protest. Personally, I have no problem with the protests. Does it offend me? No, but I can certainly understand and appreciate how it might offend some people. I would personally never kneel during the singing of any national anthem, but that’s just my personal belief. I have too much appreciation for the men and women who have served to guarantee my own freedom to take a knee. But again, that’s just my opinion and I would never judge someone for feeling or acting differently.