After a public request from the Hockey Diversity Alliance, the NHL has reportedly postponed Thursday’s games.
Last night, the NBA, MLB, MLS, and WNBA each saw at least two teams cancel games due to systemic racism issues stemming from the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. The NHL, however, was the only league to see zero postponements. A public request from the league’s Hockey Diversity Alliance, however, seems to have changed things.
According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, there will be no postseason games on Thursday, August 27. There were two games scheduled. The New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers were scheduled to play at 7:00 p.m. EST while the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks were scheduled to play at 9:45 p.m. Emily Kaplan from ESPN has confirmed this.
The league has yet to confirm this and we’ll be sure to update this post if (and when) they do.
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This might be a day late, but as they say, it’s better to be late than never. Yes, the league still has to look itself in the mirror and ask why games weren’t postponed last night. But considering how far behind the rest of the sporting world hockey tends to be, this is a promising thing to see.
There is still so much work to be done. This postponement means nothing if there aren’t more actions behind it. Should the games be canceled, that’s roughly five hours of coverage gone. What’s the league planning on doing with this newfound time? The NBA had some emotional conversations last night after the games were postponed. Will we see the same thing from the NHL?
First, they would like the league to support the diversification of NHL and team staff suppliers. Secondly, the HDA is calling for full transparency regarding the hiring of employees who are “visible minorities”. Most importantly, they have requested the NHL to provide $100 million over the next 10 years to fighting systemic racism. If the league is committed to living up to their “Hockey Is For Everyone” slogan, these are very reasonable requests.
It’s important moving forward that the NHL works with the Hockey Diversity Alliance to provide an environment that is safe and welcoming for minorities. They need to listen to their voices and take some notes from the NBA on how to properly address the issues they are passionate about.
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There’s a quote – the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This is the NHL’s first step. The journey ahead of them won’t be easy, but they’ve decided to begin it regardless.