J. T. Brown of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning knew what he was about to step into when he decided to hold up his right hand in a fisted salute during the national anthem before the start of their game against the Florida Panthers Saturday night.
However, the six-year veteran from Burnsville, Minn., and one of the few black players in the NHL, also knew it was the right thing to do.
“Like I’ve said before, I wanted to do something to show my support. There’s issues we have to talk about. In my mind, I’m just trying to bring a little bit more awareness and any type of conversation we could get started would be great,” Brown said.
Later, he told a reporter that: “I know there’s going to be negative backlash. But, in my heart, I know I did what was right.”