Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella changed his mind on anthem protests – The Athletic

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella has abandoned his hard line against those who would protest while playing the American national anthem. He also has a suggestion on how the world of sport could help the country unite, which is a deeply personal matter for Tortorella and all his family, as his son, Nick Tortorella, 30, is a Ranger from the army. As the anthem plays before the NHL games, the 62-year-old coach whispers a prayer while standing on the bench with his players.

But Tortorella told Athletic on Wednesday that her stance has changed by “listening and watching” in recent years, and especially in recent weeks, after protests took place in Columbus and across the country after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

“When I defend the flag and the national anthem, my thinking is only about the men and women who gave their lives to defend our country and …



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