Active, retired NHLers form Hockey Diversity Alliance to remove racism in sport

Several present and past NHL players of colour have formed Hockey Diversity Alliance in an attempt to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey.

Led by San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane and one-time Calgary Flames forward Akim Aliu, the organization said it would strive to be a force for positive change not only within hockey but society.

“Although we will be independent of the NHL, we are hopeful that we will work productively with the league to accomplish these important changes,” read a news release signed by seven players, including Minnesota Wild defenceman Matt Dumba and Buffalo Sabres forward Wayne Simmonds.

“We believe in the importance of accountability in developing inclusivity and diversity for all involved in our sport, including fans and the league office.”

WATCH | Canadian athletes speak out against racism:

Hockey Night in Canada host David Amber praises Evander Kane for calling on his NHL peers and asking for help, says league needs to do more but is headed in the right direction. 4:11

Hockey Diversity Alliance vows to:

  • Promote diversity at all levels of the game through community outreach and engagement with youth, endeavouring to make the game more affordable and accessible.
  • Focus on educating the hockey community about the racism issues confronting the sport while advocating for acceptance and equality.

The HDA noted it has partnered with a charitable fiscal sponsor and will launch charitable division in the coming weeks.

“In creating our alliance,” the news release stated, “we are confident we can inspire a new generation of hockey players and fans.

“We are hopeful that anyone who puts on skates or sits in the stands will do so without worrying about race, gender or socioeconomic background and will be able to express their culture, identity, values and personality without fear of retribution.

“We are united in our efforts and promise to work tirelessly to bring about the change our sport and society needs.”

WATCH | David Amber discusses racism in Canada:

Canadian athletes have been speaking out against racism and for change, including tennis youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime, basketball legend Steve Nash, and Olympians Kia Nurse, Karina LeBlanc and Perdita Felicien 2:38

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