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Posted: September 07, 2016

Team USA hockey coach: If players sit through the national anthem, they'll stay seated

By Matt Naham

Longtime NHL head coach and current Team USA hockey coach John Tortorella has made it abundantly clear to his players how he feels about the national anthem.

When asked about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his much discussed protest, Tortorella didn’t mince words.

>> Retired cop pens open letter to Colin Kaepernick

He told ESPN on Tuesday that if any of his players sit during the national anthem, they’re going to keep sitting.

“If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game,” he told ESPN’s Linda Cohn.

>> See Cohn's tweet here

As CBS Sports noted, Tortorella has said in the past that he views Team USA games as more than just hockey games, and that his son’s military service has a lot to do with that.

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“I know these are hockey games … but I do look at it like it’s for my country,” Tortorella told the Columbus Dispatch. “What Nick [his son] is doing by far dwarfs what we do. We’re entertainers; we’re playing a sport.”

He continued, "But with my son over there — this might sound selfish — I want to team up with him and help my country. I get pretty caught up in representing my country. There’s nothing like it."

Tortorella’s son has been an Army Ranger for four years.

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