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‘It’s just about standing up for what’s right’: Why Sharks’ Joel Ward could take a knee

Trump: Kneeling during national anthem 'disgraceful'

President Trump during a joint press conference Tuesday with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the NFL should not allow players to kneel, adding he was "ashamed" of the protests.
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President Trump during a joint press conference Tuesday with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the NFL should not allow players to kneel, adding he was "ashamed" of the protests.

National anthem protests in the NFL have been going since last year and have picked up steam following recent comments from President Donald Trump.

Even an MLB player has joined in. Could an NHL forward be next?

San Jose Sharks right wing Joel Ward told The Mercury News he “wouldn’t cross out” the idea of kneeling this season while “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played.

“I’ve experienced a lot of racism myself in hockey and on a day-to-day occurrence,” Ward told Paul Gackle of The Mercury News. “I haven’t really sat down to think about it too much yet, but I definitely wouldn’t say no to it.”

The Canada native is one of about 30 black players in the predominantly white NHL. Despite not being from the United States, he’s still considering taking a stand – or a knee, in this case – when the Sharks open preseason play Thursday in Anaheim.

“I’ve dealt with it (racism) on both sides (of the border),” he said. “It’s just about standing up for what’s right.”

Ward will be supported in his decision by Sharks coach Pete DeBoer and general manager Doug Wilson.

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