USA men’s hockey team coach John Tortorella was trolled on the internet by being called a “racist head coach” on Bing search, following his decision to bench players that do not stand during the national anthem.
It is unclear who wrote that he was a “racist head coach” but is most likely due to his stance in response to Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem in protest of police violence and “black oppression.”
Earlier this week, John Tortorella mentioned to ESPN’s Linda Cohn that he will bench any player on the team if they choose to protest the national anthem by sitting during it.
“If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game,” Tortorella said.
Tortorella said that he is also very proud to represent the U.S. as the head coach of the team.
“It is hockey, but I also think it is a huge platform for us to represent our country, especially in today’s world, with everything is going on,” Tortorella said to USA Today.
Some players in the league have disagreed with Tortorella’s stance against benching players that may choose to sit during the national anthem. J.T Brown, a winger for the Tampa Bay Lightning disagreed with Tortorella’s approach.
Tortorella is known for being an outspoken man with a colorful personality but his respect for the American flag and the national anthem runs deep. His son, Nick, 26, is an Army Ranger and has been for the past four years.
“I know these are hockey games … but I do look at it like it’s for my country,” Tortorella told the Columbus Dispatch. “What Nick is doing by far dwarfs what we do. We’re entertainers; we’re playing a sport.
“But with my son over there — this might sound selfish — I want to team up with him and help my country. I get pretty caught up in representing my country. There’s nothing like it,” Tortorella added.