NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The National Hockey League has announced that Stanley Cup Playoff games on Thursday and Friday have been postponed as the league looks to shine a light on social justice issues in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The move comes one day after the NBA and WNBA postponed all of their games while Major League Soccer postponed nearly all of its games and several Major League Baseball teams followed suit.
The response from the NHL comes after the Hockey Diversity Alliance, led by San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane, Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba and others called on the league to postpone, feeling it would send a “clear message that human rights take priority over sports.”
The NHL drew criticism from some of its players and others for continuing with Wednesday night’s games while other leagues decided not to play.
Dumba and the rest of the members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance released a statement on Twitter on Thursday afternoon.
“The Hockey Diversity Alliance is deeply saddened by the Jacob Blake shooting — yet another example of police brutality against Black Americans that continues to go unabated and unaddressed in the communities where NHL teams play.
Earlier today, the HDA formally requested that Commissioner Bettman and the NHL suspend all playoff games today to allow players and fans to reflect on what happened and to send a message that human rights must take priority over sport.
Since forming in June 2020, the HDA has sought partnerships with the NHL and minor hockey leagues throughout Canada and the United States. We asked the NHL to sign the HDA Pledge which includes commitments to funding grassroots programs for BIPOC youth, funding impactful social justice initiatives, anti-racism education, targets for hiring and promoting Black individuals and businesses, and rule changes to make the culture of the game more inclusive.
We hope to be in a position to announce an agreement in respect of the Pledge commitments before the end of the playoffs.”
The postponement of Thursday night’s playoff game between the Islanders and Flyers, means the series will resume with Game 3 on Saturday afternoon.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) August 27, 2020
The Islanders released their own statement, saying, “We are in total support of our players as they use their platform to bring further attention to a movement that is important to them, our organization and our game. We will continue to work together as we promote equality and to end racial and social injustice.”
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