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Hockey Coach Tells Team To Respect National Anthem Or 'Get The F*** Out'

A Connecticut hockey coach has gone viral with a profane plea to his players to "respect the national anthem". And after a recent interview on Fox News, it's clear that he stands by his message.

The Federal Hockey League is truly bush-league hockey.


Coach John Krupinsky of the league's Danbury Hat Tricks has brought national news attention, for perhaps the first time ever, on this quaint low-level pro hockey league based in the eastern United States.

"Respect the national anthem or get the f*** out"

YouTube | Salt

This was the message the coach delivered to his players before a training camp scrimmage. He said that he expects his players to stand for, and "respect" the national anthem. If not, they're presumably expected to get the f*** out.

He says disrespecting the national anthem isn't a problem in hockey.


He tells his players that hockey, unlike soccer or football, doesn't have players who "disrespect" the anthem. He'd be wrong, though. Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown raised his fist during the national anthem in a 2017 NHL game.

Brown's move was supported.

Twitter | @JoeSmithTB

The coach of a low-level hockey team may be trying to change the tide of anthem protests, but it's worth noting that Brown's team, who play at the top level of their sport, supported his protest.

The hockey coach stands by his decision.

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On Fox and Friends, coach Krupinsky said he takes pride in his country. He added that his players, who are among the lowest-paid in all of professional sports, are "free to protest on their day off."

He wants players to support both anthems.

Unsplash | m j

He said during his speech that he expects his players to stand for both the Canadian and American national anthems. But considering the fact that protest of the Canadian anthem are rare, and that the FHL has zero Canadian teams, players will only be hearing the American anthem this season.

Coach Krupinsky is a sergeant with the Danbury Police Department.

Unsplash | Fred Mouniguet

He says that, since he's seen the flag cover too many coffins, players should show respect to soldiers, firemen and police officers. He didn't mention any other groups that he believes are worthy of respect.

Why is the anthem played at sporting events?

For many years, it was only played during special events. It was only with the advent of World War II that playing national anthems became a fixture at sporting events.

Why would someone protest the anthem?

Even putting aside the weighty and long-running issue of racial inequality in the United States, it's worth considering that The Star-Spangled Banner literally has a line celebrating slavery.

What do you think?

Unsplash | Samuel Branch

Is this an issue of free speech, or should we feel compelled to stand and salute the flag when we're asked to, regardless of our feelings on the matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!