Tampa Bay forward J.T. Brown raised a closed right fist during the national anthem on Saturday, joining the growing list of professional athletes protesting what they see as a pattern of racism in the treatment of African-Americans by U.S. police.
Brown, the first NHL player to join the protests at a regular-season game, made the same gesture before a pre-season game on Sept. 28, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
J.T. Brown became the first NHL player to make a silent protest during the anthem at a regular-season game. https://t.co/5rvWv9YIvD
— TampaBayTimesSports (@TBTimes_Sports) October 8, 2017
The Lightning issued a statement during the game, which they lost 5-4 to Florida.
“The Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate the moment before every game when we can unite as a community, paying homage to a flag that is representative of our nation and those who have sacrificed,” the statement read.
— Simon Dingley (@SimonDingleyCBC) October 8, 2017
“At the same time, we respect our players and individual choices they may make on social and political issues.”