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NHL Players Join Protests Against Racial Injustice

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After opting to continue play last night, the NHLPA and NHL have agreed to postpone all postseason games previously scheduled for today and tomorrow.

2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - Edmonton - Rogers General Views Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHLPA and NHL have released a joint statement that their players have chosen not to play in any of the previously scheduled Stanley Cup Playoff games for tonight and tomorrow:

This decision comes after teams across multiple sports leagues, including but not limited to the NBA, WNBA, MLB, and MLS, refused to play yesterday in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting and systematic racial injustice as a whole. The NHL and its players drew much criticism for not joining their fellow athletes in striking, instead carrying on with games as scheduled.

Earlier today, the Hockey Diversity Alliance formally requested the NHL suspend all playoff games scheduled for Thursday. Players still active in the playoffs also began talking among themselves about the issues at hand and reason for the protests, in addition to reaching out to members of the HDA currently not in the bubble:

Players from both the Eastern and Western Conference bubbles held media availability sessions to discuss their reasons for choosing not to play. The players emphasized that it was time for action, not just words, and that they need to stay united in order to inspire any real change.

The coaches of the remaining playoff teams also spoke with the media, lending their support of the players’ decisions. The NHL Coaches’ Association also released their own statement condemning racial injustice.

By opting to protest for two days instead of just one, players from all eight remaining teams are joining in. There is currently no official word as to how the protests will affect the remaining playoff schedule, but the NHL is exploring all options:

We here at Defending Big D applaud the NHL players for their decision, as well as the NHL for lending their full support. We will will keep you posted regarding when Game 4 of the Dallas Stars’ series against the Colorado Avalanche will be rescheduled to.