The Colin Kaepernick national anthem saga has nearly taken on a life of it’s own. Despite what people claim, I have to think that Kaepernick chose this form of silent protest on purpose, knowing how much it would piss people off. You can’t realistically sit through the national anthem on national television and not expect to piss people off. I feel like the point of a protest is to piss people off. Protests aren’t supposed to be convenient for anyone.
In response to Kaepernick’s protest and the ensuing narrative it has begun to create, John Tortorella, who will be coaching the US Men’s Hockey Team during the upcoming hockey World Cup, has stated that he will bench any of his players who refuse to stand for the anthem.
Via Fox Sports:
“The always-colorful John Tortorella will be behind the bench as head coach of Team USA during the World Cup of Hockey later this month. He’s already making it known that he’s not going to tolerate any national anthem protests from his players during the tournament.
“If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game,” Tortorella told ESPN’s Linda Cohn on Tuesday.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has made headlines over the past few weeks thanks to his protests of the national anthem before his team’s preseason games. Kaepernick has chosen to remain seated or kneeled for the anthems as a way to speak up against police brutality and racial injustice in America. Several other athletes — including Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane and American soccer player Megan Rapinoe — have followed in the quarterback’s footsteps.”
While Tortorella’s stance will definitely make waves amongst the public, it will be most interesting to see how players respond. If a player agrees strongly enough with Kaepernick, will he still go against Tortorella and sit through the national anthem? And, of course, if push comes to shove, how will Tortorella actually respond?