An unidentified hockey coach has lit up social media with a speech to his players about respecting the national anthem, telling them they should go ahead and "get the f*** out" if they plan on dishonoring either the American or Canadian national anthems, like players from women's soccer and the National Football League.
"You guys, listen up for a second. First day of camp, something really important," the coach, who is yet to be identified, told a locker room full of players. "We’re not women’s soccer, we’re not the NFL. If there’s anybody here that's going to 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 was no sense in wasting anybody’s time if that sh** was going to happen," he continued. "I don't believe it would happen here. We're the most patriotic sport that they have out there. So, just keep that in mind. Thank you."
The viral video was posted on Facebook at least a week ago:
The speech also made its way to Twitter this week (h/t The DC):
The coach's mention of women's soccer is a clear reference to the anthem protests staged by U.S. Women's Soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who has joined former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in protesting during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner." In response to the U.S. team forbidding kneeling during the anthem, Rapinoe has maintained her protest by refusing to place her hand over her heart.
Rapinoe, along with a few other high-profile players on the team, has made a point of publicly criticizing President Trump. Rapinoe, who describes herself as a "walking protest" against his administration, apparently because of her identity as a gay woman, also preemptively rejected an offer to visit the White House should they win the World Cup, as the team did Sunday.
"I'm not going to the f***ing White House," Rapinoe told soccer magazine Eight By Eight in late June. "No. I'm not going to the White House. We're not gonna be invited. I doubt it."
In response, Trump tweeted: "I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women's Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job! ... We haven't yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose." As for her protest of the anthem and his administration, Trump said: "Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!"
With multiple U.S. Women's Soccer players saying they will not accept an invite to the White House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally offered an invitation to the team on Monday to visit Capitol Hill.
Kaepernick started the anthem protest movement during the NFL's 2016 preseason, when he was still riding the bench for the 49ers. After refusing to stand to honor the flag, the quarterback said, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told the press. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."