As pregame protests swell in other professional sports, the Predators will continue to stand during the national anthem, coach Peter Laviolette said. “We met as a group (Tuesday), and our decision is we’re going to stand for the national anthem out of respect for the anthem, for our country, for the people who serve for our country," said Laviolette, a Massachusetts native. "That’s what we talked about, and that’s where we’re at. "I also understand that there’s a freedom of speech. We totally respect that. Everybody has a different opinion. For us internally, if there’s anything that we can do to send positive messages throughout the country in any way, that would be a good thing.” Asked how he would proceed if a player approached him about protesting, Laviolette declined to elaborate. As the boundary dividing sports and politics rapidly blurs, it seems unlikely that the NHL will replicate the protests that NFL and NBA teams have undertaken to oppose racial inequality. The league is predominantly non-American. Of the 983 players who appeared in a game last season, 267 were from the United States, according to the biographical information on the league's website.