The newly formed Hockey Diversity Alliance met Monday on UNINTERRUPTED for a public virtual meeting. Led by Sharks winger Evander Kane, the players highlighted their experiences with discrimination in the NHL.
Kane and former NHL player Akim Aliu announced the creation of the Hockey Diversity Alliance Organization earlier in June. The organization features several current and former minority hockey players. They stated that their mission was “to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey.”
Kane has become a very articulate advocate of social justice in regard to the way his fellow hockey players of color are perceived and treated in the NHL. He was by far the most vocal of the players present on the public Zoom discussion. The meeting included Aliu, Wayne Simmonds of the Sabres, Trevor Daley of the Detroit Red Wings, Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild, Chris Stewart of the Philadelphia Flyers, Nazem Kadri of the Colorado Avalanche, Anthony Duclair of the Ottawa Senators and retired NHL player Joel Ward.
He didn’t mention a name, but Kane alluded to his time in Winnipeg when some of his on-ice antics were labeled an “NBA-like attitude.” I’m sure many of you remember the call to Floyd “Money” Mayweather on the money phone.
lol nah they freaked out over evander kane's money phone pic pic.twitter.com/GQO9xJlHGq
— Mathmew Purrrr Oh! (@maxthesilent) May 2, 2020
“It’s always looked at in a negative fashion … you’re selfish, you’re a bad guy, you’re a bad teammate, you’re doing your own thing,” Kane said. “There’s always a negative tone to being different, as a minority. If you’re doing something different or you are different as a white hockey player, you’re unique. That’s a great thing. But if you’re a minority, that’s looked at in a negative way. You’re a troublemaker, you’re an issue, you’re a problem.” This not only summarizes Kane’s feelings but also speaks to what he and many other black hockey players have experienced: A different standard. If you don’t get where Kane is coming from, let me call your attention back to the infamous tracksuit incident that got him shipped out of Winnipeg.
Several other players on the call broke down the difference in perception between players of different races. Aliu helped kick off the creation of the Hockey Diversity Alliance with a personal essay for The Players’ Tribune in May titled “Hockey is Not for Everyone.” He explicitly detailed the bullying he received when he was 16 from future NHL player Steve Downie. The members on the conference call wore sweatshirts that read “Change Hockey Culture.” And that is precisely what they aspire to do.
Meanwhile, P.K. Subban is taking a bath with his beau Lindsey Vonn and their dog.
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