Black NHL Players Upset With League’s Response To Jacob Blake Being Shot 7 Times
The National Hockey League was the only active major professional sports league not to postpone games Wednesday in protest Jacob Blake’s shooting by police. It was also a decision that upset two of its prominent black players.
“NHL is always last to the party on these topics,” Minnesota Wild star defenseman Matt Dumba told Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver.
Dumba, who became the first NHL player to kneel during the national anthem, added that “it’s kind of sad and disheartening for me and for members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, and I’m sure for other guys across the league. But if no one stands up and does anything, then it’s the same thing. That silence. You’re just outside, looking in on actually being leaders and evoking real change when you have such an opportunity to do so.”
San Jose Sharks star forward Evander Kane, who helped form the Hockey Diversity Alliance with Dumba in early June following the police killing of George Floyd, wasn’t too thrilled with NHL’s response to the shooting either.
“I’ll be honest, I haven’t really heard much in regards to Jacob Blake’s attempted murder,” Kane told Sportsnet. “It’s unfortunate, we’re obviously talking about another black man unarmed being shot in the back in front of his children.
“But again, we had these conversations earlier with the George Floyd killing of continuing the conversation, furthering the conversation, everybody wanting to be better and making sure that we’re more vocal and we do better moving forward. Here’s another example, unfortunately, but it’s also another example of the lack of with regards to our league and our players and our media that cover our game.
Former NHL goaltender Kelly Hrudey, who is white and an analyst for “Hockey Night in Canada” said, “I don’t think we should be here. I think the NHL should postpone the games. I really feel we should be more supportive of Black Lives Matter.”
On Wednesday, the NBA was forced to postpone all three scheduled games after the Milwaukee Bucks took a stand and said they were not going to play.
The MLB, WNBA and MLS all postponed some games in the hours following. Even Naomi Osaka took to Twitter and stated she would not play in her Western & Southern Open semifinal on Thursday against Elise Mertens.
“…before I am a athlete, I am a black woman,” Osaka wrote. “And as a black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis.
“I don’t expect anything drastic to happen with me not playing, but if I can get a conversation started in a majority white sport I consider that a step in the right direction.”
H/T – NY Post