"If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game."
First, it's Team USA, folks. It's the national team, the team of our country - so it sort of has a different feel than if, say, the San Jose Sharks coach said this. Does anyone else feel like it being Team USA makes a difference? I mean, if you're protesting America's anthem, maybe you might just opt out of being a representative to the world via the team, no?
Also, hockey isn't a sport where you stand out as an individual. I would have to say that, even more than football, hockey players are very, very team oriented guys. No one wants to be "that guy" on the hockey team.
Take Wayne Gretzky for example. Every time you hear Gretzky interviewed, you come away with him saying stuff that essentially amounts to how lucky he was to play on a great team with lots of other great players who really made his play better than he could have done on his own.
When the best player in your entire sport ever comes across with an "Aw, shucks..." kind of humility, that gives you a sort of flavor of how team-oriented hockey is. (Maybe excluding goalies).
|Pictured - Team USA celebrating a win over the commies in 1980.|