Evander Kane, Hockey Diversity Alliance ask NHL to suspend Thursday’s games

A group advocating for diversity in hockey is calling for the NHL to suspend Thursday’s playoff games in the aftermath of a police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Wisconsin last weekend.

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane says the Hockey Diversity Alliance has formally requested the NHL suspend a pair of post-season games scheduled for Toronto and Edmonton.

Kane, a co-head of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, feels a suspension would send “a clear message that human rights take priority over sports.”

The NHL played all three of its playoff games Wednesday, two of which started after the NBA postponed all three of its post-season contests as players protested social injustice.

The New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers are scheduled to play at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena on Thursday night, while the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights are set to meet at Edmonton’s Rogers Place. Both second-round series are tied 1-1.

Islanders coach Barry Trotz said Thursday morning that his players were discussing the possibility of boycotting their game.

“I know our team is having that discussion,” Trotz said. “I think we’re a pretty mature group. I’m trusting that group and the leadership of guys like (captain) Anders (Lee), and they’re excellent in that way. They understand the importance of the playoffs, but they also understand where the world is right now.

“What happened [Wednesday], we weren’t really informed what was happening. We were playing when all this happened. As you get to digest it, I think what happened last night is a great statement for athletes. They have a great platform and get to use it.”

WATCH | Kelly Hrudey says NHL shouldn’t have played games on Wednesday:

Hockey Night in Canada’s Kelly Hrudey gave his thoughts on the NHL’s decision to continue playing games after boycotts in the WNBA, NBA, and MLB. 0:57

Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the WNBA also postponed some games Wednesday.

The Hockey Diversity Alliance was formed earlier this year by seven current and former NHL players in an effort to “to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey.”

Original article: https://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/nhl-news-aug-27-1.5701982?cmp=rss

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