A coach’s locker room speech to a minor league hockey team in Connecticut has gone viral, with video showing him telling players to either stand for the national anthem or “get the f— out.”
John Krupinsky, an assistant coach in Danbury, Conn., told members of the Hat Tricks team sitting on the locker room benches that they should “respect” national anthems, including the United States’s, video posted to Facebook on June 30 shows.
“We’re not women’s soccer. We’re not the NFL,” Krupinsky, who also works for the Danbury Police Department, says in the video. “If there’s anybody here who is 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,” he continued. “We’re better than that, but there was no sense in wasting anybody’s time if that shit was going to happen.”
The video comes after prominent athletes, including U.S. women’s national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, have protested during the national anthem.
Rapinoe, an outspoken critic of President Trump, said in May that her decision to kneel during the national anthem is an “F you” to the White House, adding that she’ll “probably never sing the national anthem again.”
Kaepernick began protesting during the anthem in the 2016 NFL season while he was the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. His and other athletes’ protests have led to backlash from conservatives and Trump, who has previously called for team owners to fire players who protest during the anthem.