Wednesday, 03 March, 2021


National Hockey League cancels Thursday's playoff games as a stand against racial injustice

NHL-bubble-first-game NHL joins NBA, WNBA in postponing playoff games following Jacob Blake shooting
Noah Ferguson | 28 August, 2020, 02:39

The New Yorks Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers are scheduled to play at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena on Thursday night, while the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights are set to meet at Edmonton's Rogers Place.

"Earlier today, the HDA formally requested that Commissioner Bettman and the NHL suspend all playoff games today to allow players and fans to reflect on what happened and to send a message that human rights must take priority over sport", the Hockey Diversity Alliance said in a statement. Game 4s of the Lightning-Bruins and Avalanche-Stars were scheduled for Friday.

The league took criticism after it did not postpone any games Wednesday, when all teams in the National Basketball Association and WNBA decided not to play and were followed by some teams in MLS and Major League Baseball. I don't think anyone was watching TV until we got to the rink, and then obviously it was too close to the game to start any discussions or trying to move the games to different dates. "And I still haven't seen or heard anything in regards to it, so that's disappointing and as a Black player in this league, it's even more disappointing", Kane said.

"By you talking to me about it, to the players about it, it's giving them a platform, it's giving them air-time", Trotz said. "It was something that I think for us was something we found out by the time we got to the rink and something we'll have to address going forward".

The NHL has been criticized for its handling of the Black Lives Matter movement, notably avoiding use of the phrase "black lives matter" and choosing to highlight their own slogan: "We skate for..." with the phrase appended with everything from "black lives" to "frontline workers".

The other postponed games were Game 4s on Friday: Boston against Tampa, and Dallas against Colorado. "As you digest it, I think what happened last night is a great statement for the athletes".

Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said he was focused exclusively on hockey.

"Unfortunately, we can't control some of the things that go on in the outside world", Cooper said. "I don't know if it's because we come from, you know, honestly the hockey culture of kind of being quiet and not speaking your mind all the time".

"We were realizing the impact that was having on the world, seeing what was going with basketball and baseball", he said. "So it's sorta sad and disheartening for me and other members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, and I'm sure other guys across the league".

"We're all for equality and social justice", he said. "I guess I'm a hockey nerd, and that's what I'm doing right now".

That's action, and it means more than the words we've spoken before.

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