One coach has a unique take on the heated issue of sitting out during the national anthem. It’s Team USA hockey coach John Tortorella who has been making waves as of late, making a bold statement on the issue:
“If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game.”
This is in response to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protesting the national anthem. Tortorella has now implemented a zero tolerance policy for any players who want to follow in Kaepernick’s footsteps, and refuse to participate in the national anthem during the World Cup of hockey tournament which is coming up.
Turns out Tortorella’s son is an Army Ranger. His son is currently deployed. This makes the matter very personal for the coach. His team will be representing USA as a whole, and if his players choose to exercise their constitutional rights by sitting out for the anthem, then he in turn is going to exercise his own right as coach and bench them the entire game.
The World Cup of Hockey starts on September 17, 2016 and goes through October 1, 2016. It takes place in Toronto, Canada and will feature competitors from countries all across North America, Europe, and Asia. Canada won the previous event in 2004, while the U.S. won the first tourney in 1996. This will be only the third World Cup of Hockey, and clearly the coach wants to represent USA in a strong and unified fashion.