We’ve seen the NFL’s displays of unity geared towards social injustice. From taking a knee and hands resting on shoulders to linking arms on the sidelines, NFL players, coaches and even some owners have demonstrated their solidarity against injustice. These actions spilled over into other sports including soccer and volleyball.
Tonight it hit the ice.
During the national anthem before the Tampa Bay Lightning played the Florida Panthers, the Lighting’s J.T. Brown raised his fist in solidarity with the silent protests appearing on the gridiron sidelines.
Pete Blackburn on Twitter
JT Brown goes fist up during the national anthem in Florida
Brown has raised his first during the preseason, but this is the first time that it was done by an NHL player in the regular season. During the week he made it clear what the silent protest was about and, more importantly, what it wasn’t about.
“Some will tell you that’s disrespecting the military, well I wanted to hear it from someone who is serving, not some person on Twitter,” Brown said to the Tampa Bay Times. “Some thought (kneeling) it was disrespecting, but most felt that we have a right to do it, regardless of whether they agree with you or not, or would stand next to you.”
In response to Brown’s raised fist, the team issued the following statement:
Joe Smith on Twitter
Re: Brown: #tblightning with statement that they “respect our players and individual choices they may make on social and political issues.
Now let’s see how the fans react to Brown’s protest, especially if he, or another player, decides to take a knee on the ice.