On Tuesday afternoon, Bruins players released a statement announcing their intention to "lock arms during the playing of the United States and Canadian Anthems as a sign of solidarity with the Black community."
A short time later, goalie Tuukka Rask was seen wearing a Boston Police hat during an interview on NBCSN. That led to a number of people on social media pointing out that it may not have been the best look for Rask to be wearing that hat right on the heels of the team's statement. It is worth noting for timeline purposes that the interview was not live and had been recorded before the statement had been released.
Here is his answer in full:
"Tuukks was given the hat by a friend that he wore in an interview prior to the statement being released," Marchand said. "That’s OK for him to support a friend and wear a hat. It doesn’t change the fact that we all stand united in trying to end racism and be part of that solution. And Tuukks is part of that. He’s on board with this, as are all of us.
"I responded to that because I felt we want to be part of the solution. And doing that with what Matt was trying to do, was create a buzz. We feel like Tuukka has a big platform, and for him to bring negative attention to him, that can deter Tuukks from wanting to be part of this. I’m not saying it does, but if it does, Tuukks has a big following, and if you silence Tuukks, and you silence his following, that’s part of the problem. We need to have people who are willing to speak up. We want to be part of the solution and continue the conversations. The more people you silence and the more negative attention you bring to people who are trying to be part of a positive solution, the more it’s going to negatively impact ending racism, and we are not standing for that.
"So what Matt did was he tried to create a buzz to impact himself positively to get more followers and get more attention and get more likes, and it’s hurting what we’re trying to move forward with. So the reason I deleted my tweet was not because I regretted tweeting it, but because I didn’t want to bring any attention to him and give him what he was looking to do. So I don’t regret the way that I responded. I regret giving him attention for what he wanted. We stand with Tuukka. We stand as a group together here to end racism. That’s that."
There was no opportunity to ask any follow-up questions as the Zoom call -- the only form of access the media has to players right now -- was ended by NHL media relations after that answer.