The NHL sparked criticism on social media recently when players linked arms and stood during the Canadian and American national anthems. Days later, some players took a different stance. Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars kneeled during the national anthem on Monday night before a game against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
According to FOX News, Seguin was one of four players that kneeled on Monday night. He joined teammate Jason Dickinson and Vegas forward Ryan Reaves and goaltender Robin Lehner. They followed the example previously set by Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild, who became the first player to kneel. Seguin later explained that kneeling was something he had contemplated for some time.
Ryan Reaves, Jason Dickinson, Tyler Seguin, and Robin Lehner all kneeling for the anthem. pic.twitter.com/c6LsgF932I— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) August 3, 2020
"I was giving it a lot of thought in the last 24 hours about what to do," Seguin said, per ESPN. "I talked to Reaves during warmups. He said he saw what I was doing in Dallas, and that him and Lehner were going to kneel, and asked if I'd like to join them. So I told them I'd join them."
As he continued to explain, Seguin went into the dressing room before the game and informed the team that he would kneel. He told them that there was "absolutely no pressure" to do anything. "Dickinson grabbed me and said he'd like to be a part of it, and support his beliefs and my beliefs," he explained.
Reporters later asked Dickinson what he was supporting by kneeling prior to the game. He said that there wasn't a specific name while explaining that the term doesn't matter. What matters is just trying to learn about a "big issue."
"Black Lives Matter, equality, justice. You can pick the term, it doesn't really matter," Dickinson said, per the Dallas News. "I don't need to sit here and take a stab at all issues. Just educate yourself, look into things, watch documentaries, talk to people. Just learn, try to open your mind a little bit and this is a big issue that needs to be addressed."
Dumba of the Minnesota Wild initially drew attention when he knelt before a game between the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. He gave a speech to both teams and then knelt at center ice. Malcolm Subban of Chicago and Darnell Nurse of Edmonton stood on each side of Dumba and put their hands on his shoulders.