BOSTON (CBS) — A bit of a unique circumstance sprung up this week, when Bruins star Brad Marchand fired off a heated tweet aimed at a Bruins reporter who had shared a photo of Tuukka Rask wearing a Boston Police hat during a television interview. The reporter shared the photo along with the Bruins’ statement against racism, and Marchand took issue with the juxtaposition.
Two days after Marchand defended his since-deleted tweet, Rask spoke to the media via video conference call in Toronto, after the Bruins played their lone exhibition game. The 33-year-old Finn said that he did not intend to send any sort of message by wearing the Boston Police hat.
“It was actually a recorded interview, even though they said it was live. I just put a hat on in the morning. It was not a statement,” Rask said from Toronto. “I definitely respect what’s going on in the world right now, and I stand with everybody for anti-racism.”
On Wednesday, Marchand had said that he thought the reporter’s tweet would work to “silence” Rask.
“[The hat] doesn’t change the fact that we all stand united against trying to end racism and being part of that solution,” Marchand said. “And Tuuks is part of that. He’s on board, as are all of us.”
The Bruins announced this week that they will be locking arms during the national anthem, as a show of solidarity for the Black community. Earlier this summer, the team made a statement supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, which included a stance against senseless violence, including the murder of George Floyd. Team captain Zdeno Chara participated in a rally in Boston, while alternate captain Patrice Bergeron donated $50,000 to causes dedicated to ending racial discrimination.
While a hat supporting the Boston Police Department would not necessarily be antithetical to such causes, the timing of Rask wearing the hat led to significant reaction on social media — activity which likely prompted the tweet from Boston Globe reporter Matt Porter.
Rask, though, said it was merely a coincidence that he showed up on TV wearing the hat shortly after the Bruins released their latest statement.
“So it was not a statement. I didn’t mean to offend anybody. So there’s that,” Rask said. “It was a recorded interview, I just put a hat on in the morning, and there’s that.”