BOSTON (CBS) — While Bruins fans would have liked to have seen the team try to bounce back in Friday night’s Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, that won’t be happening. Most fans understand why games on Thursday and Friday were postponed, as athletes around the country refused to play and instead used their platform to demand social change following the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Emphasis on most fans. There are some out there who are pretty miffed that players refused to play. They’re called the “stick to sports” crowd, and Bruins forward Brad Marchand has a message for them: “Too bad!”

Marchand respects that everyone is entitled their own opinion, but he is urging folks not to confuse what players are currently demanding with a political movement. Marchand said that boycotting games has nothing to do with politics, and is a matter of equality and human decency.

“That’s one thing that people continually mix up is they bring politics into these situations. That’s not what this is about. We’re not being political,” Marchand said Friday during a video conference in Toronto. “That’s not the goal and not what we’re here for. There needs to be changes made throughout society. It’s bigger than hockey right now, it’s bigger than sports. It’s about people being equal and people being treated the same. It’s about making changes.

“People want to point in different directions and make it about something it’s not. That’s what we want to avoid. We don’t want to make it a political statement, we want to make it about people being better and making changes, getting to the point where we all see each other as equals,” he continued.

Marchand said the break was necessary because the issues that face the country right now are much bigger than sports.

“This is bigger than sports and people need to put that aside. Sports is a luxury; it’s a luxury to watch this game and play this game. But when it becomes about people’s safety and people’s lives, and people feeling comfortable enough to be in their own skin, it’s more important than [sports],” he said. “I understand people want to watch the games and want to see this, but it’s too bad. We have bigger things that we care about and that we want to do, to improve upon, and people we want to support. That’s all that matters.”

The Bruins and teams throughout the NHL will continue to discuss ways to help create change, and Marchand urges everyone else to do the same.

“We all need to learn a lot about what’s happening outside of our own lives. A lot of us, we don’t truly understand what it’s like in other people’s shoes and we need to,” he said. “It’s the only way that things are going to change.”

The Bruins and Lightning will now square off in Game 4 on Saturday afternoon, with Tampa Bay owning a 2-1 series lead.

Comments (9)
  1. JimStark says:

    Hey Brad, Have you take too many elbows to the temple? Do you thing the BLM idiots will pay you to play? Shut up and “stick to sports”. It is too late to win may of us back and I hope the NHL is filing Ch 11 soon.

    1. Jim Freeman says:

      You’re living in a fantasy world. Get a life before life gets you.

  2. Mike R says:

    Should have stuck to sports. Agree it’s bigger than sports, so now we should shut down all paid professional sports. Millions out of work and struggling and you are paid millions to play a game and decide you need to sit it out to make a statement. We could help the entire country with the money that is paid to them. Not playing your game will not change society, not sure how you think you have that much power. We didn’t watch in the event we might get a glimpse of your personal opinions. You misunderstand what sports fans want. 0 interest in watching any sports now.

    1. Sharon B. says:

      Agreed! If sports people want to go into politics, they should quit and run for an office – otherwise, they need to understand that the reason they are paid so much is because the audience (us) want to watch a sports event. If we wanted to watch news, we’d switch the channel. Just how arrogant do you have to be to think you walk on water and people (us) want to listen to you? If you want to speak out about something near and dear to your heart, wait until AFTER the game and find someone from CNN to interview you and then speak away…otherwise, don’t be too surprised when we boycott your sports events in the future because you can’t keep your opinions to yourself, and we take away our precious money, which by the way, goes to your extravagant salary.

  3. CAP says:

    Good for you Brad- I think you are a bit of a nut in general, but you got this right. It is bigger than sports and too darn bad if some Bruins’ fans don’t like it. The NBA has just committed to opening up NBA arenas for safe voting- that is something tangible and real that athletes did by standing up.

  4. Paul Collard says:

    All sports should cease to exist. They think they have so much power. They are just athletes making way to much money and doing nothing. Either shut up and play or quit, we don’t care about you. We all stopped watching all sports along time ago!!

  5. Jim Freeman says:

    SPORTS IS NOTHING, BUT BREAD AND CIRCUS. MORE SO, IT IS A RECRUITING TOOL FOR THE POLICE AND THE MILITARY AND FOR CORPORATISM. That’s why sports is a trillion dollar industry. Most athletes are the same ignorant, privileged, and spoiled individuals that get paid by the educated corporate/banking elites to protect them from rebellion and/or revolution. EITHER WAY, no one is buying that these morons are serious about protest, regardless of the two-party dualism.

  6. james mcclure says:

    sports figures are employees. just like everyone else. your opionions and political ideology should only be addressed if asked. otherwise your opioions(being broadcasted) are only tolerated if the management allows it . so shut the f up. and do your job.

  7. Chris says:

    Brad wake up and smell the coffee. Are you really this ignorant. The Blm movement is not what you think it is. This 50 year bruin fan is out because of your stupid politics. Thanks to all the ignorant players fans will be leaving.

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