AP reporters counted more than 200 NFL players who did not stand during the national anthem before their games on Sunday. Six refused to stand the week before, mainly protesting police brutality.
On Tuesday evening, Predators defenseman P.K. Subban, as first reported by Yahoo Sports, said on stage at a fundraiser at Zanies Comedy Club that he would “never” kneel for the national anthem.
The Predators, who confirmed Subban’s comments, made an organizational decision to remain standing during the national anthem as protests opposing racial inequality permeate other professional leagues.
Subban didn’t comment on what two attendees of the fundraiser relayed to Yahoo Sports in separate emails, one of which included a passage about Subban allegedly going on “a long rant about his ‘respect’ for the American flag.”
“People are allowed to voice their opinion,” Subban said Wednesday of recent activism. “People are allowed to do that. As far as what we’re doing in this locker room, that’s a consensus among our dressing room. If something changes for somebody, then that’s their right. But as a team, that’s what we’re going to do. … You’ve seen other teams do different things, and that’s fine. At the end of the day, we’re all going to stand together as a team.”
The NHL is predominantly white, with only a handful of black players. Subban, a native of Toronto, is the most prominent. That designation and his reputation for being outspoken might place an expectation on him to address certain social issues.
“I realize that being a black hockey player, people are going to recognize that. That’s fine,” Subban said. “But I want to be recognized as one of the best players in the league and the best player in the league. And that’s what I work for every day.
“At the end of the day, whether you’re born purple, black, white or brown, you don’t control that. All you can control is what you do. That’s how you’re judged in this world, by what you do and your work ethic and your character. That’s how I’ve been judged. … I’d like to hope that people aren’t being…