TORONTO (NEWS 1130) The National Hockey League is being accused by many of doing the bare minimum as its called out for failing to cancel games in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests.
As a number of sports leagues, including the NBA, MLS, and MLB, went dark on Wednesday night, the NHL proceeded with its scheduled games.
Hockeys decision to instead hold a moment of reflection at two of the games didnt go over well with many players, athletes, fans, and analysts.
Former player and current Sportsnet broadcaster Kelly Hrudey said the league was offside in its decision.
I dont think we should be here. I think the NHL should postpone the games. I really feel that we should be more supportive of Black Lives Matter, he said.
Id prefer to be having this conversation with my family. Ive said, many months ago, when I made my video about Black Lives Matter, it means something to me, Hrudey said while speaking to his Sportsnet panel.
His comments came as a number of sports stars continue to protest racial inequality, the latest catalyst being the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the weekend.
NHL players were also among those disappointed with the lack of action.
In an appearance on Sportsnet 650 on Wednesday, Minnesota Wild defenceman Matt Dumba who raised a fist to highlight social and racial justice issues during the anthems of his qualifying-series game against the Vancouver Canucks earlier this month said the leagues decision to hold playoff games Wednesday, despite cancellations across other leagues, is disheartening, but expected.
I know whats going to happen, and I dont think much is going to happen from that standpoint. But its just back to it, I dont know, the NHL were always late to the party, especially on these topics, so its sorta sad and disheartening for me and other members of the HDA, and Im sure other guys across the league, said Dumba.
He and San Jose left winger Evander Kane are faces of the Hockey Diversity Alliance and are some of hockeys strongest proponents for the need to address anti-Black racism in the sport.
Kane told Sportsnets David Amber on Wednesday that its disappointing the NHL has yet to acknowledge Blake.
Its another instance, unfortunately, that still hasnt been acknowledged and were about, what? Three or four days into this video being released, or this incident occurring? And I still havent seen or heard anything in regards to it, so thats disappointing and as a Black player in this league, its even more disappointing, Kane said.
Blake, 29, was shot several times in the back by officers on Sunday. The shooting happened in front of his children and left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Players the driving force
The decision to cancel and postpone games was largely led by players who said they have had enough of racial injustice, and that more needs to be done to address the issue.
The NBAs Milwaukee Bucks refused to play a playoff game against the Orlando Magic in the wake of the Blake shooting.
Were tired of the killings and the injustice, Bucks guard George Hill told The Undefeateds Marc J. Spears following the Bucks decision to boycott.
The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder announced shortly after the Bucks decision that they would also be boycotting their game Wednesday, and the Lakers and Trail Blazers quickly followed suit ahead of their own Game 5 as players step away from the court in protest.
Its unclear if anything will be done ahead of the Vancouver Canucks match up against the Vegas Golden Knights Thursday night.
Read more here:
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