Callahan: Lightning players have Brown's back
Reinhold Matay / USA Today Sports

J.T. Brown has the support of his Tampa Bay Lightning teammates.

That was the message expressed by veteran winger Ryan Callahan after Brown raised his fist during the national anthem Saturday to protest, in his words, "police brutality, racial injustice, and inequality (in America)."

"The big thing is, we've got 25 different guys in here, everyone is going to have a different opinion, come from a different background and upbringing," Callahan said Monday, per Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "Whether we agree or disagree with what (Brown) is doing, as a team we support him. We support (Brown) on and off the ice. Our biggest thing is we've got his back."

The Lightning play host to Washington on Monday, and Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly said he reached out to Brown after the courageous act.

"I'm proud of him, proud that he did that and proud that he stood up and put himself out there," Smith-Pelly said. "Because it's tough. It's tough anytime, but in this particular sport, it's tough to put yourself out there.

"It's a lonely feeling, even without doing a protest. So that he stood out and put himself out there, I respect it a lot."

Brown, who's been subject to racist comments and even death threats, in light of his silent protest, did not address the media in advance of Monday's game.

Callahan: Lightning players have Brown's back
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