5 Year Member
Even though I know the answer, how likely would it have been to hear any complaints from European or Polish/Russian Jewish players had the coach said ‘we need to get back to the salt mines’ instead? How about players who’d had family members in prison?
back to the salt minesResume work, usually with some reluctance, as in With my slavedriver of a boss, even on Saturdays it's back to the salt mines. This term alludes to the Russian practice of punishing prisoners by sending them to work in the salt mines of Siberia. Today the term is only used ironically. [Late 1800s] Also see keep one's nose to the grindstone.