Brett Kissel Defends Jersey He Wore During National Anthem


Canadian country star Brett Kissel is deflecting shots on social media over his choice of jersey while singing “O Canada” before Monday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens in Toronto.

The Alberta-born singer took some heat for wearing a Penguins jersey instead of a Canadiens one.

"Brett Kissel has a lot of nerve," read one tweet. Another fumed: "Seriously dude. Not classy."

Kissel took to Twitter to explain that the anthem performance used on Monday’s broadcast was from Feb. 14, when he was asked by the Penguins to sing the Canadian national anthem in Pittsburgh. He wore the home team jersey with the number of Canadian player Sidney Crosby.

“The National Hockey League and the Pittsburgh Penguins organization clearly saved my bilingual anthem, and played it as a ‘re-run,’ without me knowing,” tweeted Kissel, a devoted Oilers fan.

“I hope you understand that this anthem was only a rerun from earlier this year and in no way was meant to harm my relationship with the city of Montreal and my incredible fans in Quebec.”

During a concert in Montreal in August 2017, Kissel told the crowd: “As a country singer, we don’t get the opportunity to play in Montreal. Very rarely do country singers come here and I think that’s a shame because some of the best fans in all of music are right here."

On Saturday, social media lit up because Michael Bublé didn't sing a bilingual version of "O Canada." The NHL later explained in a statement that an English version of the anthem was used because Pittsburgh was, technically, the home team, not Montreal.

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