A minor league hockey coach told his players that if they don’t agree with his views, they can get out.
John Krupinsky, an assistant coach with Connecticut’s Danbury Hat Tricks of the Federal Hockey League, recently delivered a pointed speech to his team as training camp opened.
‘Grab your gear and get the f--- out now’
It wasn’t about conditioning. It wasn’t about competition. It wasn’t about hockey.
It was about the national anthem.
“Listen up for a second,” Krupinsky said. “First day of camp. Something really important. We’re not women’s soccer. We’re not the NFL. If there’s anybody here that’s gonna be disrespectful to either the American or the Canadian national anthem, grab your gear, and get the f--- out now.
‘Because you’ll never see the ice in this arena. We don’t have that problem in hockey. We’re better than that. But there’s no sense in wasting anybody’s time if that s--- was gonna happen. I don’t believe it would happen here. We’re the most patriotic sport that they have out there. Just keep that in mind, thank you.”
Krupinsky posted the video on Facebook on June 30th, and it has gained viral attention since.
Speech happened during USWNT’s World Cup run
The timestamp places the speech squarely in the middle of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s run to the World Cup championship that was highlighted off the field for the team’s strong social stances.
She was also a vocal leader off the field, leading the charge for equal pay for women’s soccer players and speaking out against what she believes is an
anti-LGBTQ stance of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Shot at Rapinoe?
Rapinoe declines to sing the national anthem before games. She explains the choice as a peaceful protest against social injustice in the United States and “an opportunity … to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country.”
"I haven't experienced police brutality, or racism, in that way," Rapinoe told Yahoo Sports’ Henry Bushnell. "But knowing that it obviously happens, and knowing that it's a very real thing, and that there's something I can do to lend to that movement, or lend to those voices, or to support them, that's important.”
Anthem protests originated in NFL
Using the stage of the national anthem as a form of protest against police brutality and social injustice was elevated by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who chose to kneel during the national anthem during his playing days before ultimately being blackballed from the NFL.
Krupinsky made clear that there’s no room for that kind of protest on his team, branding anyone who chooses the route of protesting during the anthem as unpatriotic.
If anybody on the Hat Tricks feels strongly about issues of social justice, then they clearly have a choice to make.
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