Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban has publicly expressed his feelings about the ongoing national anthem protests in the NFL.
The National Hockey League star recently remarked about the controversy while appearing at a fundraiser to benefit the Comedy Cares charity which took place at the Zanies Comedy Club in Nashville.
The Montreal Canadiens drafted Subban in the second round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft with the 43rd overall pick. He subsequently made his Canadiens debut in February, 2010. He was named defenseman of the year in 2013, and in August 2014, he signed an eight-year, $72 million contract with the Canadians. At the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season, however, the Canadians traded Subban to the Preds in exchange for Shea Webber. P.K. Subban won an Olympic gold medal in 2014 as a member of the Canadian national team.
At the Nashville fundraiser, Subban explained to the crowd in attendance how he felt about anthem protests.
"He told the audience that he would 'never' take a knee during the national anthem, because he has too much respect for the American flag," Yahoo Sports reported. Along with calling attention to a friend in the audience who was a police officer, Subban added that "he will continue to stand, respect, and sing along with U.S. anthem."
According to Yahoo Sports, Toronto-born P.K. Subban, whose parents immigrated from the Caribbean, "is considered the most prominent black player in pro hockey."
After a team meeting late last month, Predators coach Peter Laviolette announced that the squad will stand for the national anthem throughout the season in respect for the country and the military, the Tennessean reported.
NHL games often feature both the U.S. and Canadian national anthems in pre-game ceremonies, depending on which teams are playing and in what stadiums.
The Preds lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup finals last season. The Pens have already announced that they will accept an invitation to the Trump White House to celebrate their NHL championship, as is customary for both college and pro teams. At the time, the Penguins noted that any disagreements with the president's policies can be addressed in other ways. that The Penguins won the Stanley Cup on June 11 by defeating the Nashville Predators four games to two, and prevailing in the final game by a score of 2-0. Sidney Crosby received the most valuable player award. Pittsburgh also won the Cup in the 2015-2016 season.
The defending Western Conference champions open the 2017-2018 regular season on October 5 with an away game against the Boston Bruins.
Separately, in the aftermath of the national anthem controversy, Yahoo Finance has just revealed the results of a new online poll about the NFL, and it contains some bad news for the professional football league.
"Nearly 62% of 9,056 respondents told us they plan to watch less pro football in response to the anthem controversy. Thirty-six percent said they plan to buy less NFL merchandise, and 32% have chosen not to attend a game they would otherwise have gone to. Those findings all have financial implications for the NFL and its 32 team owners."NFL ratings are said to be down 11 percent this year so far.
[Featured Image by Mark Humphrey/AP Images]