NHL player ‘receives death threats’ after becoming first to join anthem protest
Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown says he received death threats following his raised-fist national anthem protest before the regular season game against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, becoming the first NHL player to join the protest started last year in the NFL.
The movement, which was launched by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling protests during the national anthem before NFL games, later spread throughout the NFL and other sports leagues in the US.
Brown, one of about 30 African American players in the NHL, became the first American ice hockey player to join the wave of protests.
"In my life, I have been through more than my fair share of racism both on and off the ice. There comes a time when you cannot remain silent, hoping and wishing for a change. It takes much more," the player wrote on his Twitter account following the game with the Panthers.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”-Martin Luther King Jr. pic.twitter.com/Ql2vEFwl5E— Jt brownov (@JTBrown23) October 8, 2017
Brown also said that he wanted to draw attention to the issue, while realizing there would be a negative backlash over his protest.
During the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos rocked the sports world when they raised their fists wearing black gloves, during the medal ceremony where they were awarded 200m gold and bronze respectively.
They also wore black socks and no shoes to demonstrate African American poverty, while the black gloves were supposed to symbolized black unity. They raised their fists and stood motionless while listening to the Star Spangled Banner.
Later, both runners were suspended from the US national team as THE sign was related to the Black Power Salute demonstration.
Brown’s team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, stated they have no issues with the protest displayed by the player before Saturday’s the game, as they “respect our players and individual choices they may make on social and political issues.”
The forward, 27, revealed on Sunday he received death threats on social media after his protest.