Tampa Bay Lightning JT Brown Raises Fist During National Anthem (VIDEO)
JT Brown Says He Expects ‘Negative Backlash’ For Raising Fist During National Anthem (VIDEO)
On Saturday, JT Brown became the first NHL player to stage some sort of protest during the national anthem at a regular season game when he was seen with a raised fist just before Saturday’s game against the Florida Panthers. Unlike other sports, Brown is taking a huge risk, given the sport he plays in and the demographics of the athletes and fan bases.
Tampa Bay Lightning JT Brown raising his first during the national anthem tonight. pic.twitter.com/hHMoakztKA
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) October 7, 2017
Following the game, the right wing stated he expects the negative backlash to come, but he feels what he did on that night was right.
“I know there’s going to be negative backlash,” Brown told reporters postgame, according the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith. “But, in my heart, I know I did what was right.”
“I wanted to do something to show my support, and there are some issues that we have to talk about,” Brown said. “In my mind, I’m just trying to bring a little more awareness, and any type of conversation that we can get started would be great.”
Brown on speaking with his teammates about his protest:
“We’ve talked about it,” Brown said. “They’ve made their statements as well. They support it. I’m not sure whether or not everyone fully agrees with it or not, but at the same time, they still support my decision, so it’s good.”
— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) October 8, 2017
Brown is also a man who is active outside of hockey. He gave $1500 of his money towards removing a Confederate statue in Tampa and he mentors at-risk kids in the city.