Take a Knee, Take The Bench Says Hockey Coach!
With the hockey world gearing up for The World Cup Of Hockey, United States coach John Torteorello has issued his players a warning.
Torteorello, who coaches the National Hockey League Columbus Jackets. told the Sporting News that any player who refuses to stand for the national anthem will be disciplined.
“If they won’t stand for the anthem, they’ll be sitting out the game,” he informed the Sporting News.
The Olympic style hockey tournament opens September 17, featuring teams from around the world. It is returning after a 12 year absence.
His statement was issued as a result of the controversial actions of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The National Football League player refused to stand for the United States national anthem during exhibition games. Instead, he knelt and told the press it was to bring attention to racial inequality and African American problems with the police in the US.
His gesture was acknowledged by other professional athletes, including US Women’s Soccer star, Megan Rapinoe, who also refused to stand for the anthem.
Opponents of the action claim it’s disrespectful to the American flag and its Armed Forces. They also say professional athletes should stick to their sports and not use sports arenas for protests.