Brown defends protest: 'In my heart, I know I did what was right'

Scott Audette / National Hockey League / Getty

J.T. Brown has no regrets about making a silent statement during the national anthem Saturday night.

"I know there's going to be negative backlash," Brown told reporters postgame, according the Tampa Bay Times' Joe Smith. "But, in my heart, I know I did what was right."

The Tampa Bay Lightning forward further explained his decision to raise his fist while standing on the bench during the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in Sunrise, Fla., before playing against the Florida Panthers.

"I wanted to do something to show my support, and there are some issues that we have to talk about," Brown said. "In my mind, I'm just trying to bring a little more awareness, and any type of conversation that we can get started would be great."

He added that his teammates understand why he chose to join the numerous NFL players and other athletes making a point about racial injustice and police bruality.

"We've talked about it," Brown said. "They've made their statements as well. They support it. I'm not sure whether or not everyone fully agrees with it or not, but at the same time, they still support my decision, so it's good."

The winger became the first NHL player to protest during the anthem this season when he did so Saturday night.

Brown defends protest: 'In my heart, I know I did what was right'
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