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There’s little room in team sports for individuals to stand out unless it’s to enhance the team’s standings by using their individual skills as players. The locker-room and the bench isn’t the place to create discourse or make political statements, at the expense of the team.

There’s a fundamental difference between an individual athlete engaged within an individual sport, who makes a political statement as opposed to someone who’s part of a team.

And Coach John Tortorella is the only individual who has the authority to actually speak out and he did when he announced to both the media and his players that any player who refuses to stand for the National Anthem will continue sitting for the entire game.

John Tortorella

The Team USA hocky coach didn’t pull any punches said:

“If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game.”

That statement was in response to ESPN’s question about 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusal to stand up at the playing of the National Anthem and his remarks dealing with racism, and police brutality.

The Columbus Blue Jackets coach has been slated to head the American team in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey tournament.

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