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Lightning Round: NHL and their players join the protest for social justice

The Lightning continue the series against Boston today

2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - Toronto - Press Conference Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

On Thursday the NHL finally joined other sports leagues in North America in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake and postponed all games scheduled for Thursday and Friday. The Hockey Diversity Alliance leading by Matt Dumba and Evander Kane has become an initiator of this movement by requesting to postpone all playoff games for two days.

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk has become one of the players who reached out to the Hockey Diversity Alliance to initiate a discussion, later it led to a large group call, including about 100 players across the league.

Yesterday Braydon Coburn and Luke Schenn also joined a press conference. Coburn refused to answer hockey-related questions, pointing out that there are much more important things now.

Jon Cooper has also admitted that the team had an “open forum“ after Wednesday’s win against Boston, involving all 52 staff members in the bubble, and everyone had a chance to speak on social issues.

In case you missed our editor Achariya wrote a very personal piece about the current situation [Raw Charge]

What else can the league do to promote fans, players, managers, coaches, and journalists across ALL races to take part equally in what it offers? Are we as hockey fans reading non-white takes on the sport? Have you read pieces by BlackGirlHockeyClub, or Jashvina, or Chris, or Hardev, or Omar, or Lauren, or Matt, or Arvind lately, to name a few?

This is nowhere near as important as simply not committing acts of violence against people who aren’t white, but it’s what we can also do to make our sport better.

Also a very important article from Pension Plan Puppets’ blogger who’s talking about his experience

If there are other ways to show your actions and support, then prove it. Prove that you actually care. Prove that all these statements aren’t just empty words. I don’t want it to only be the minority players who act. I want all players to unite on this.

I want to believe you NHL, I really do. Unfortunately at this point, I’m not sure I can anymore.

That being said, I’ve never wanted to be proven wrong so badly in my life. I want a day where I can tell the NHL I’m proud of being a fan.

Hardev also joined Let’s Do That Hockey Podcast with Chris Watkins to discuss hockey culture

Yesterday Chris also wrote a guest post for the Score on why he is both encouraged and discouraged by the NHL players protest

And I get it: Hockey has one of the most affluent fan bases, as well as one of the most disproportionately white fan bases and white player bases. That isolates it from social issues involving minorities, women, people of lower economic roots, etc. There’s a distance between hockey people and the day-to-day issues we’re talking about here. They have to actively go and make the effort to educate themselves on this because it won’t come to them. They have to go find it.

Curtis McElhinney presented a design to his new mask with images of Jackie Robinson, Willie O’Ree and Muhammad Ali on it. Joe Smith of the Athletic with a story behind this mask:

Today’s Games

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins – Lightning lead series 2-1

12 PM ET; NBC, TVAS, SN

The game originally scheduled for Friday night was moved to Saturday’s afternoon. After beating the Bruins 7-1 on Wednesday night, the Lightning are looking to extend their lead, however it will be a very interesting to see Boston’s response who’s definitely not going to give up.

Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Islanders – series tied 1-1

7:00 PM ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, SN

Vancouver Canucks vs. Golden Knights – series tied 1-1

9:45 PM ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, SN