The NBA and the WNBA, together with several major leagues went out on a strike to protest racial injustice and the recent shooting of Jacob Blake.
Last night, one day later than other leagues, the NHL and the NHLPA announced in a joint statement that they have postponed the Stanley Cup playoffs games that were supposed to be played Thursday and Saturday.
According to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, more than 100 players in the bubble reached out to Evander Kane and Matt Dumba yesterday. The duo, together with other professional players, acted like a bridge to make the postponement happen through The Hockey Diversity Alliance (the HDA).
The playoffs is set to resume Saturday in both hub cities.
“It’s great that the NBA did this, and MLB and the WNBA. They have a lot of Black players in those leagues. But for all these athletes in here to take a stand and say: ‘You know what? We see the problem, too. And we stand behind you.'”, Reaves said during yesterdays press conference in Edmonton.
“I go to war with these guys and I hate their guts on the ice, but I couldn’t be more proud of these guys. The statement they’ve made today is something that’s going to last.”
According to TSN reporter Rick Westhead, the HDA – which was formed earlier this year by Evander Kane, Matt Dumba, Wayne Simmonds among others – made several requests to the NHL a couple of weeks ago.
They asked the NHL to commit $100 million over 10 years to battle systemic racism through grassroot programs, social justice initiatives and anti-racism education, among other things.
The HDA proposed that the NHL should temporarily change the blue line to black in a number of games to raise awareness. Also, to run PSAs for the HDA during the ongoing NHL postseason.
“We want every NHLer to become the face of this movement,” Lightning Kevin Shattenkirk said according to NBC. “If a guy like [Matt] Dumba wants to protest and make a stand and act in a certain way to share his beliefs, I think we all as players believe he should have every opportunity to do that. As a group, we take a stand here. It certainly opens the door to that.”
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