Fans and players condemn NHL for going ahead with games while other leagues boycott
The NHL is in some hot water after games went ahead as scheduled while other leagues boycotted following the shooting of Jacob Blake.
On Wednesday, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed that hockey games set for that evening would not be postponed.
"Obviously, our Players are free to express themselves in any manner they feel is appropriate," Daly reportedly said.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly says there are currently no plans to postpone tonight's games. "I don’t expect the League to initiate a game stoppage. Obviously, our Players are free to express themselves in any manner they feel is appropriate."— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 26, 2020
Instead, a moment of reflection was observed ahead of Wednesday evening's Tampa/Boston game in Toronto and Colorado/Dallas game in Edmonton.
Moment of reflection for Jacob Blake prior to Bruins/Lightning game pic.twitter.com/qkwLN5ueJC— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) August 27, 2020
This comes after multiple other leagues chose to boycott, strike, or speak out against racial injustice, including the NBA. All three basketball games scheduled for Wednesday night were postponed after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play Game 5 in Orlando.
The Milwaukee Bucks statement: pic.twitter.com/F7XOPs4NqE— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) August 26, 2020
MLB's Milwaukee Brewers followed suit as did the Women's National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer.
Former basketball player and current TNT sports commentator Kenny Smith even joined in by walking off his broadcast.
Incredible TV moment as Kenny walks off pic.twitter.com/CsMTL08x4c— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) August 26, 2020
Now, the NHL's response - or lack of - has prompted outrage from many in the hockey community such as former goaltender and current broadcaster Kelly Hrudey who asked the league to rethink only holding a moment of reflection.
San Jose Sharks player Evander Kane also spoke out, saying that as a Black man, he's insulted by the NHL's lack of action.
Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild and co-founder of the Hockey Diversity Alliance added to the conversation, commenting on had it is that the NHL is always last to the party. Dumba has long called for change within the league.
Fans seemed to have similar thoughts with some saying that hockey simply is not important right now.
"I didn't watch any hockey last night. Probably won't for the rest of the season.@NHL bubbles worked until this. It's now a failure," another fan wrote.
C'mon @NHL, it's not enought that your league has a history of racism? You're really going to "just play" in a time of this much horrific, state sanctioned violence on Black bodies and minds? https://t.co/v3ZxHuJ2Md— royan🌶 (@royanlee) August 27, 2020
Others tweeted their support for the players who raised their voices in opposition of the league.
"I cannot even imagine what it is like for the men of colour behind the scenes in the NHL. Evander thanks for speaking up but it sad you have to. Like Audre Lorde said it isn't the job of the oppressed to constantly speak about oppression," added another fan.
When your Board of Governors looks like this (lacking BIPOC voices), do you expect any different? Diversity is essential, from the top down. pic.twitter.com/okv4GucMMw— Claire Hanna (@clahanna) August 27, 2020
Currently, there is no word on whether NHL Playoff games with proceed as scheduled this week of if the Raptors/Celtics NBA game scheduled for Thursday is going forward or not although Toronto Raptors' coach Nick Nurse said that a boycott is on the table.
Join the conversation Load comments