Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown has spoken out against former Lightning Coach and Team USA Coach John Tortorella.
The time has almost come for one of the best times of the year for hockey fans. It’s almost time for the Tampa Bay Lightning to kick off their 2016-17 season and continue their journey towards fighting for another chance to raise the Stanley Cup high above their heads.
Before the Tampa Bay Lightning make their way back to the Sunshine State to prepare themselves for the new season, 12 Lightning players will be headed to a different destination. They will be headed to the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
As most Lightning fans know by now, the international tournament is set to kick off on Saturday, September 17th and run through Saturday, October 1st. The conclusion of the tournament is just 12 days before the Tampa Bay Lightning Home Opener against the Detroit Red Wings on October 13th.
More from International Tournaments
- Lightning WJC Prospects Recap: Duke Wins Bronze with Team USA
- 2023 World Juniors: Duke, Huuhtanen, Veinbergs to represent Tampa Bay Lightning
- What to Expect of Lightning Prospect Nick Perbix at the Olympics
- World Junior Championships get Underway without Lightning Prospects
- Lightning Players to Miss out on 2022 Olympics as NHL Pulls Participation
Now, here’s where things are going to start getting a wee bit interesting.
The hockey world was thrown into a bit of turmoil yesterday when former Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach, and current Team USA Coach John Tortorella made a pretty clear statement on what will happen if any Team USA player decides to follow San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s example and refuse to stand for the National Anthem.
According to ESPN SportsCenter Anchor Linda Cohn, Tortorella said any player on his team who refuses to stand for the National Anthem at the World Cup of Hockey will sit for the remainder of the game.
As soon as you read something like this, it’s almost like an immediate cue to brace for impact. When a person, no matter which team, league, or sport they represent, makes such a bold statement, there is about a 99.999 percent chance someone is going to have something to say about it.
It seems one of those aforementioned people is someone pretty familiar to Tampa Bay Lightning fans. In fact, they are one of those previously mentioned players preparing to make their way back to the Bolts Nation.
There is only one problem we can find with Brown’s statement. At no point and time did Tortorella ever specify that he was planning to sit solely black players or players of color. The Team USA Coach’s statement applied to each and every player on his bench, no matter what amount of pigment there is in a player’s skin.
This is a very touchy subject for people; especially given the unrest there is in the world right now. It is because of this that, as many other people have stated over the years, there is a time and a place for everything, and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey is neither.
As we expressed in our previous article on the topic, most people watch sports like hockey to escape from the troubles of the world. It is a very special time when a person can sit back, relax, and watch their favorite teams battle it out in the spirit of competition.
That being said, every single person in this world has the right to protest when they believe there has been an injustice in this world. This is what separates the United States of America from some of the other countries of the world where people do not have said freedom of speech and expression.
At the same time, as the Coach of Team USA, John Tortorella has the right to sit any player on his bench for any reason he sees fit. Tortorella has made his stance clear. Whether or not any Team USA member will disregard the Coach’s ruling remains to be seen.
On the bright side, despite all the possible drama, hockey fans are going to be in for a real treat. Some of the best players in the world, including 12 Tampa Bay Lightning players, will be facing off against one another in what is sure to be an exciting two-week tournament.