Hockey Diversity Alliance to focus on youth and equality dialogue

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The all-new Hockey Diversity Alliance wants to eliminate racism in hockey by focusing on youth and continuing to make NHL players stand up for racial justice after the death of George Floyd.

San Jose Sharks attack Evander Kane and Minnesota Wild defender Matt Dumba, members of the seven-player alliance announced on Monday, said they are considering the diversity task force by making hockey affordable to young players of color.”Unfortunately, hockey has sort of adopted this narrative as an elitist sport, much like golf,” said Kane on Tuesday, “and I think our group and alliance will help create and give young people opportunities. who don’t get a chance to play hockey or even learn more about the game. I mean, there are different ways to go about it. We obviously have a charity arm that we are going to start and hopefully work with different companies and collect sponsorships to help create and provide opportunities for young people from different communities. ”

Kane said the independent alliance is filing documents to create the charity and is working on creating a website which he hopes will go live in the next 10 days. He also said the group is eager to enter into dialogue with the NHL and “see if our combined efforts can really speed things up.”

Kim Davis, senior NHL vice-president of social impact, growth initiatives and legislative affairs, said on Monday that she hoped the league and alliance could work together.

“We support all efforts to advance the role of our sport in society,” said Davis. “We hope this alliance will work with our board and our structured NHL committees – particularly the player inclusion committee – to bring about ideas for change. ”

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Dumba said it is important that the alliance focus on youth hockey locally to help prevent racial slurs and derogatory language against players of color.

Dumba, who is Canadian and of Filipino origin, said he wanted to see the day when the parents of colored players would no longer need to “talk” about the race with their child on the ice.

” The [were] so many times as a little child that I saw my own family and my mom and I leave the rink in tears and, you know, you sit in the car talking about what happened and seeing all the pain it caused and having the conversation [about] “You have to have harder skin” and “Hit the road about it, they only say because you play so well,” said Dumba. “And when I think about it, it’s a conversation white parents shouldn’t have with their children, and parents of color shouldn’t either. ”

Dumba and Kane say it is important for NHL players and others to continue conversations about racial justice, diversity and equality after they are fueled by the death of black man Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

A white police officer was charged with second degree murder and three other police officers were charged with being an accessory to second degree murder. The incident, which was captured on video, sparked protests around the world. It also prompted NHL players to speak out.

“The players, the younger players who see not only their favorite black or minority players rising, but also their favorite white players who are also committed in this direction, will do a lot to close this gap and bring everyone together”, said Dumba.

The alliance is led by Kane and former NHL striker Akim Aliu. Its executive committee includes Dumba, the Detroit Red Wings defender Trevor Daley, Buffalo Sabers striker Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers ahead Chris Stewart and former NHL striker Joel Ward, all players of color.

Kane said alliance members spoke to Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who started to kneel in 2016 while playing the American national anthem in silent protest against police brutality.

“He shared some of his experiences, the ups and downs he went through,” said Kane. “It was great to get advice on things we might be able to avoid, because he couldn’t do it because he was the first to do it. And then, also gave us real positive information on how to do what we wanted to do. , so he was really a good voice and a leader for our group in terms of some of our initial conversations. ”

Dumba said, “It’s great to hear [Kaepernick], just see how much he is really invested in this. I know when he was talking everyone was listening and everyone was a little dismayed to see a man of his stature, but at the end of the day he was just a real guy and he had a real conversation with us, and I respect that. … I respect that very much. ”



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