Sitting up during the national anthem is a gesture that indicates respect and patriotism. It’s a gesture that many would say it’s mandatory for any good American. At the beginning of any sporting events, attendees are required to stand up for the national anthem, whether we’re talking about player or members of the audience.
But some football players are using this moment in the game to make a statement and protest against important issues affecting our society today. It all started in the summer when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick announced his decision to sit down or take a knee during the national anthem. It was his way of calling attention to police violence and injustice in black America.
Since then, this symbolic act of protest has spread across the NFL, as well as other sporting events in the US.
However, not everybody agrees with this form of protest. Ahead of the World Cup of Hockey, Team USA head coach John Tortorella announced that he won’t allow players to protest during the national anthem by sitting.
Here’s what the coach told ESPN’s Linda Cohn: “If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game.”