The Nashville Predators have no plans to kneel during the national anthem this season, and defenseman P.K. Subban fully supports the decision.
Subban, a Canadian who’s arguably the most recognizable black player in the NHL, apparently made his stance clear Tuesday night during a comedy fundraiser in Nashville, telling the crowd he would “never” take a knee during the national anthem because he has too much respect for the American flag.
Subban’s comments were pointed out by eyewitnesses and confirmed by the Predators, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Greg Wyshynski. This comes on the heels of Nashville coach Peter Laviolette and team president and CEO Sean Henry saying the Predators will continue to stand during the anthem.
“When this all came about, we wanted to get together with our team because everything we do is collaborative,” Henry said, according to The Tennessean. “When we say what we’re going to be doing, it really is a ‘we.’ Everyone had input on it. We are honoring the anthem and the flag and the country by standing during the anthem. We invite our fans to do so with us.
“It is also our way of honoring what else it stands for, and it does provide for the freedom for others to express their views and protests in a manner in which they feel comfortable doing. We just think there’s proper forums for all. Our games have become this unifying celebration, so we have decided that we’re all going to stand together to honor the country and all that comes with it.”
Of course, national anthem protests have been a hot button topic since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled last year in protest of inequality in the United States. President Donald Trump’s recent controversial comments, in which he called players who protest during the anthem “sons of bitches,” only intensified the subject, with hundreds of NFL players showing solidarity during this past weekend’s games. San Jose Sharks forward Joel Ward admitted this week he’s contemplating kneeling during the anthem.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, who defeated the Predators in last season’s Stanley Cup Final, announced they’ll still visit the White House to celebrate their championship despite Trump’s recent comments.
Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images
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