Chara, however, expressed support for his other sports peers who decided to sit down Wednesday to protest persistent racial injustices, including the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Games were postponed Wednesday across the NBA, WNBA, MLS and MLB.“We support the fight against racism and injustice,” said Chara. “There are different ways of expressing this fight. NBA players have expressed their views on the matter by boycotting games today. We support the players in the NBA and all the leagues that have shown this support. ”
The NHL drew criticism from two prominent players in the newly formed Hockey Diversity Alliance, including Sharks winger Evander Kane, who said the league’s “lack of action” was “incredibly insulting”.
In fact, it’s incredibly insulting as a black man in hockey @nhl’s lack of action and recognition, just plain insulting. https://t.co/1KrpUvFhaQ
– Evander Kane (@ evanderkane_9) 27 août 2020
Meanwhile, during an appearance on Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver, BC, Wild defenseman Matt Dumba said the NHL “is always late to the party on these matters.”
“It’s a little sad and disheartening for me and for the members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance – and I’m sure it is for the other guys in the league,” Dumba said. “But if no one gets up and does anything, then it’s the same thing: this silence. You are right on the outside looking as a leader and conjuring up real change when you have such an opportunity to do so. ”
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said he would have been “100% behind” his players if they had decided to be absent on Wednesday.
The Tampa Bay players also said they had not had serious conversations about the boycott of Wednesday’s game as they discovered the NBA boycotts very close to the puck dropping.
“I think the world has changed in our short time on the ice,” said Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper. “When I got here at 4:30 pm, I think what is happening now at 11:15 am is very different from what was happening at 4:30 pm. Back then… these weren’t things we discussed with our group. We were getting ready to play the Boston Bruins. ”
Ahead of Game 3 of the Bruins and Lightning second-round series – which the Lightning won 7-1 – the NHL held a “moment of reflection” in which the words “end racism” appeared on the sign. video. The NHL, however, did not host a similar pre-game ceremony for its second game of the night, the Colorado Avalanche-Dallas Stars game in the Edmonton bubble, Alta.