J.T. Brown won't raise fist, but plans to do more in community
Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer be raising his first as a silent protest during the national anthem.
But Brown, 27, one of about 30 black players in the NHL, plans to do more in the community to create awareness and understanding for key issues of police brutality and racial inequality. Brown made the announcement in a lengthy Twitter statement Wednesday afternoon.
"I understand this issue cannot be resolved overnight, nor can i do it alone" Brown said. "I am done raising my fist during the national anthem. I am now using this support, opportunity and platform to call out everyone who agreed or disagreed with me to help by sharing suggestions, continuing respectful conversations and looking for ways that they too can make a difference in the community."
On Oct. 7 in Sunrise, Brown became the first NHL player to peform a silent protest during the national anthem; he hasn't played since. Brown said he partly did the protest to show the issues weren't going unnoticed by the hockey community. Brown thanked the organization, from owner Jeff Vinik to management and teammates for supporting him "regardless of their personal feelings." The team asked him Saturday how they can help him accomplish what he wants to get done.
Brown spent a day with the Tampa Police Department's citizen's academy last week after getting invited by interim police chief Brian Dugan. He plans to continue that relationship, including participating in ride-alongs with police. Brown is donating more than 600 tickets so organizations like Bigs in Blue and RICH house can go to Lightning home games. He'll also be getting involved with Vinik's Winston Park Boys & Girls Club.
Here’s what’s next. pic.twitter.com/IoXeUkacUZ— Jt brownov (@JTBrown23) October 18, 2017