Following his team’s 4-1 exhibition loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday, Boston Bruins Goalie Tuukka Rask weighed in on the controversy that arose from him wearing a Boston Police Department hat in an NBCSN interview Tuesday night. The controversy came from a reporter calling out Rask for being seen wearing this hat just hours after the Bruins made a statement that they lock arms with the Blue Jackets in solidarity for the fight against racism and the ‘Black Community’.
“It was actually a recorded interview, even though they said it was live,” Rask told the media Thursday night. “I just put a hat on in the morning. It was not a statement. Definitely respect what’s going on in the world right now, and I stand with everybody for anti-racism. It was not a statement. I really didn’t mean to offend anybody. So, there’s that. It was a recorded interview, I just put a hat on in the morning, and there’s that.”
Rask’s teammate Brad Marchand came to his defense on Twitter (but deleting his tweet) and then in a Zoom media session on Wednesday.
“The reason I deleted my tweet was not because I regretted tweeting it. It was because i didn’t want to bring any attention to [Porter],” Marchand said. “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, and that’s that.
‘Tuuks’ was given a hat by a friend that he wore in an interview prior to the statement being released. That’s OK for him to support a friend and wear a hat,” Marchand said. “It doesn’t change the fact that we all stand united against trying to end racism and being part of that solution. And ‘Tuuks’ is part of that. He’s onboard, as are all of us.”
Rask looked rusty and allowed three goals on 20 shots Thursday night while playing just over half the game before Jaro Halak came in and stopped all ten shots he faced.