The first National Hockey League player to protest during the playing of the national anthem, is now saying he has received death threats for his actions.
Last weekend, Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown became the first NHL player to protest during the anthem by raising his fist during the song.
Now, in a tweet from Sunday, Brown claims that he has been on the receiving end of death threats, Deadspin reported:
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
-Martin Luther King Jr. pic.twitter.com/Ql2vEFwl5E
— Jt brownov (@JTBrown23) October 8, 2017
In his tweet, the player reiterated his claim that his protest isn’t meant to demean the military, the country, or the flag but is instead about “police brutality, racial injustice, and inequality in this country.”
Brown ended his statement saying, “I have received racist remarks and death threats because they disagree with how I chose to raise awareness.”
The NHL should weigh its response to these protests carefully. The NFL has been materially harmed by the rash of protests. A recent poll found that the league’s favorability rating fell far enough to knock the league from most favorite to least favorite sport in the nation.
The league’s TV ratings have also continued to crater with last weekend’s Sunday Night Football broadcast experiencing yet another drop in viewership.
These are self-inflicted losses that the NFL can’t afford.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.