Since raising his fist during the national anthem in early October, J.T. Brown has been vocal about building relationships with those in the Tampa Bay community. On Wednesday, Brown told the hockey world what was next on his list.
For starters, Brown will now no longer raise his fist during the national anthem.
“I am done raising my fist during the national anthem,” Brown said on Twitter. “I am now using this support, opportunity, and platform to call out everyone who agreed or disagreed with me to help by sharing suggestions, continuing respectful conversations, and looking for ways they too can help make a difference in their community.”
Instead, Brown is now using the support of his teammates, coaches, and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik to build bridges with the law enforcement in the community. Last week, Brown had spent the day with Tampa Bay’s police department as he visited the Tampa Police Department's Citizens Police Academy.
After talking with the Tampa Police Department, Brown has said he will participate in ride alongs with them, along with donating 600 tickets “so that organizations like the Bigs in Blue and [Resources In Community Hope] House can come to our games.”
Brown will also be working closely with Jeff and Penny Vinik, as he will be involved in their program with the Winston Park Boys and Girls Club.
“I understand that this issue cannot be resolved overnight, nor can I do it alone,” Brown said.
Though Brown has not cracked the Lightning lineup since raising his fist on Oct. 7, the forward has gotten copious amounts of support from teammates and other players across the league.
Brown raised his fist during the national anthem earlier this month in support of Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protests in the NFL. The protests from Brown, Kaepernick, and others have been bringing attention to police brutality and racial inequality across the United States.