I’m sure you’ve all read what’s going on in the news. People across the country are calling for racial justice reform following the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.
Racism has been an issue brought to hockey’s attention several times recenty. Most notably, J.T. Brown’s peaceful protest before a Tampa Bay Lightning game, racist taunts from Chicago fans at Devante Smith-Pelly, the Bill Peters fallout following Akim Aliu’s story, and K’Andre Miller’s Zoom call with a racist fan. These are the moments that come to the top of my head, there are many more.
In times like these, it is important for those with a voice to amplify and make heard the people who are being ignored. Some teams and players in the NHL have understood the importance of shedding light to this injustice and have shared statements and stories, while unfortunately most have not.
Among the teams that have shared statements include Anaheim, Arizona, Calgary, Colorado, Los Angeles, Minnesota (kind of), Nashville, New Jersey, San Jose, Toronto, Vegas, and Washington. Their statements have been linked with their names.
Among the franchises that have not (yet) released team statements against racial injustice include Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Montreal, both the New York Islanders and Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.
As for the players, of the close-to 800 players in the NHLPA, the following have released personal statements and are joining the fight against racism in and out of the sport. Akim Aliu, Mathieu Joseph, Evander Kane, Blake Wheeler, JT Brown, Logan Couture, Kurtis Gabriel, Connor Carrick, Brian Boyle, Anze Kopitar, Nick Foligno, Anthony Duclair, Kyle Turris, Daniel Carcillo, PK Subban, Auston Matthews, and Kevin Weekes. Their statements have been linked with their names. This Twitter list also shows players who have also retweeted statements.
Furthermore, former Lightning prospect Tony DeAngelo and teammate Brendan Lemieux are starting a podcast he claims will “push the ‘Politically Correct’ boundary, while also being “not political,” the Rangers twitter account retweeted the announcement, but later took it back. Jack Eichel shared a tweet on Instagram criticizing the protesters.
The NHL also released a statement, as well as shared those from their players and teams.
I’ll share some of the most impactful statements and stories that I found from NHL players. The “must read” ones, if you will.
We’re all hurting, centuries of racism and oppression spilling into the streets. Our voices suppressed far too long, now violence seen as our only ally. The voices of ALL must be heard, this fight belongs to EVERYONE. Stop the hate, stop the MURDERING. History will not forget.— Akim Aliu (@Dreamer_Aliu78) May 29, 2020
I needed to say something in my own words. pic.twitter.com/VpkidaMjbX— Blake Wheeler (@BiggieFunke) May 31, 2020
I just signed a petition to demand that the 4 police officers involved in murdered George Floyd be arrested and charged immediately. You should too: https://t.co/NG6ZL53OrO— Evander Kane (@evanderkane_9) May 27, 2020
I will be donating to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a nonprofit paying bail for the activists protesting for justice for George Floyd. Use your voice, your money, and your vote to combat racism. Silence is complicity.— JT Brown (@JTBrown23) May 29, 2020
Pretty self explanatory if you watch this. Everyone KNOWS what is going on. So why don’t we KNOW to speak up us as caucasian’s if we would not want to be treated the same? Theres this special word called EMPATHY..maybe look it up. Defies logic to not do whats right. https://t.co/LhFV5QQMqi— Kurtis Gabriel (@kurtisgabriel) May 30, 2020
To the Leaders before me who have inspired me to be more, to be better, thank you. pic.twitter.com/nmJFgGFALV— Connor Carrick (@connorcarrick) May 31, 2020
This...I don’t know this pain. I can’t even imagine this pain. I’ve always had the benefit of the doubt But I can’t say I haven’t seen this before. We all have. The footage, the headlines, the media arguments that follow. What we need to see is change. We need to see it stop https://t.co/HS0iCSslQw— Brian Boyle (@BriBrows22) May 29, 2020
WE all have a voice, use it. Help create an environment where WE can all be treated equally. No matter what your race, religion or belief you may have, you should not stay silent about social inequality. Please spread the word. #JusticeForAll https://t.co/dxfkUwn7E9— Anthony Duclair (@aduclair10) May 31, 2020
My thoughts, experience and story on racism in hockey. This is not to offend anyone but instead bring awareness and promote togetherness within the hockey community! ✊ pic.twitter.com/GKb0cxBt2k— Saroya Tinker (@saroyatinker71) May 30, 2020
I’ve seen a real ground-swell of support from everyone in the community. Not just silent support, but loud advocating. Hopefully we see a positive change to society, especially hockey.
- Erik Erlendsson will no longer be on the Power Lunch show as his contract with the network expired. Hoping he gets picked up again when hockey is back.
So here's why today was bittersweet, my deal with the team ran through the end of May and in this pandemic world, adding more payroll is not feasible. So today was my last Power Lunch show with @GregLinnelli (though we're exploring some ways to keep me involved)— Lightning Insider (@Erik_Erlendsson) May 29, 2020
- Pierre LeBrun has this article out at The Athletic on the NHL’s conditional draft pick trade rulings.
- Remember when Niagara IceDogs goaltender Tucker Tynan suffered a gruesome injury in a game back in December? Google it if you’re not queasy. Well, he just had his pads delivered to his home, looks like he’s ready to lace ‘em up again.
Our players are getting their equipment for when they can get back on the ice.— Niagara IceDogs (@OHLIceDogs) May 30, 2020
Any guess as to whose equipment was shipped?
Hint : He's getting ready to start practicing in full gear! pic.twitter.com/z4dWKJfeom
- This is a funny story. Elite Prospects has an incredible vetting team. Nothing gets past them.
So.... last night's stats manipulation attempt from a North American goalie playing in Europe was something out of the ordinary. We're in shock, really. Read more in the screenshot.— Eliteprospects (@eliteprospects) May 31, 2020
This has to be A for effort, but F for lack of sanity... pic.twitter.com/mtdBEFu1QH