Kim Davis

Aliu, Kane form Hockey Diversity Alliance ‘to eradicate racism and intolerance’

1 Comment

A group of seven active and former NHL players announced the formation of the Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA) on Monday. Akim Aliu and Evander Kane will serve as co-heads of an executive committee that also includes Trevor Daley, Matt Dumba, Wayne Simmonds, Chris Stewart, and Joel Ward.

“Our mission is to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey,” The Hockey Diversity Alliance wrote in their press release. “We will strive to be a force of positive change not only within our game of hockey, but also within 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. We believe in the importance of accountability in developing inclusivity and diversity for all involved in our sport, including fans and the league office.”

Check out the release here.

(If you want the full text of the release, scroll to the bottom of this post.)

Promising goals, and maybe even more potential in the future?

Along with mapping out a broader goal of addressing racism in hockey (and society), the Hockey Diversity Alliance also shared goals about making the sport more accessible. Considering the costs of playing hockey at most levels, this is pretty exciting. The HDIA noted that they have a “charitable fiscal sponsor” to help boost such efforts.

Speaking of broader goals, it would be delightful to see the Hockey Diversity Alliance cover many groups. And it sounds like early steps are being taken to include women:

Truly spreading the “Hockey is for Everyone” message would be tremendous. Ideally, the sport will also become more inclusive for the LGBTQ2+ community, among others.

NHL executive Kim Davis and NHLPA head Donald Fehr already ranked among those who expressed pride in NHL players speaking up about racism following George Floyd’s tragic death. Seeing Aliu, Kane, Daley, Dumba, Simmonds, Stewart, and Ward form the HDA should only further such feelings.

As promising as it is to picture how far this could go, it seems like the Hockey Diversity Alliance is already off to a promising start.

Full text of Hockey Diversity Alliance release:

Here it is, in full:

We love our sport. We believe that hockey is the greatest game in the world.

As minorities who play professional hockey, we have come together to create the Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA). We have appointed Akim Aliu and Evander Kane as co-heads and our executive committee includes Trevor Daley, Matt Dumba, Wayne Simmonds, Chris Stewart, and Joel Ward.

Our mission is to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey. We will strive to be a force of positive change not only within our game of hockey, but also within 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. We believe in the importance of accountability in developing inclusivity and diversity for all involved in our sport, including fans and the league office.

We will promote diversity at all levels of the game through community outreach and engagement with you and will endeavor to make the game more affordable and accessible. We will also focus on educating the hockey community about the racism issues confronting the sport, while advocating for acceptance and equality. We have partnered with a charitable fiscal sponsor and we will be launching a charitable division in the coming weeks to assist us in achieving our objectives.

In creating our alliance, 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.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

PHT Morning Skate: Kim Davis, others praise NHL players for speaking out on racism

1 Comment

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

Kim Davis, others are proud of NHL players for speaking up about race

• NHL executive Kim Davis shared some great insight to The Canadian Press on how she feels about players speaking out regarding race.

“I’ve had people comment all week that for our league to use race and Black Lives (Matter) in the same sentence is unprecedented,” Davis said.

Even so, Davis notes that saying Black Lives Matter or using the name George Floyd is a great, but taking action to help is what really matters. (The Canadian Press)

• NHLPA director Donald Fehr also praised players, as “not everybody, but a lot” of people have spoken out about issues revolving around racism. (Also via the Canadian Press)

• Count Jarome Iginla among those who are also impressed with how players have responded. (31 Thoughts Podcast)

Other NHL and hockey links

• The Devils boast a long history of developing players from outside North America. Nikita Gusev appears to be the latest to benefit. (The Hockey News)

• Could we see long-lasting changes to the NHL “calendar?” (Boston Globe)

• Yes, Jimmy Howard suffered through a rough season. And, sure, this is probably it for Howard with the Red Wings. The veteran goalie wants to prove he can still play in the NHL, though. (The Detroit News)

• Greg Wyshynski combs through a ton of characteristics [including Pekka Rinne’s glove] to put together a Frankenstein monster/Voltron of a perfect goalie. (ESPN)

Chris Tanev hopes he can work out a deal to stick with the Canucks. (Sportsnet)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.