Black NHL player raises fist during national anthem, receives death threats

In a sport dominated by white Americans, Canadians and Europeans, JT Brown became the first NHL player to protest during the national anthem by raising his fist in the air before a game Saturday night. 

Brown, a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, held his fist in the air shortly before the Lightning's contest against the Florida Panthers. 

Brown's protest was similar to one used by many NFL players in recent weeks. While some NFL players have taken a knee in protest of police inequality and police brutality, some have stood while keeping a fist in the air. 

Brown is just one of six African-American players in the NHL. All told, there are fewer than 30 black players in the league currently. 

Following Saturday's game, Brown said in a statement left on his Twitter account that he has received death threats. He had said that he knew it would spark a negative reaction from some. 

"I also wanted to reiterate that this is not or has never been about the military or disrespecting the flag," Brown said. "It is about police brutality, racial injustice, and inequality in this country. It is something that I as well as many others feels needs to be addressed."

Brown is in his fifth full season with the Lightning.

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