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Dubas vows Leafs will be more proactive in combating racism

Rene Johnston / Toronto Star / Getty

General manager Kyle Dubas understands there's a lot more that the Toronto Maple Leafs can and should do to help combat systemic racism.

"What the last week has shown us is that merely living a good life yourself and treating other people well yourself ... that's great, but it's not quite good enough in order to enact change in the greater swaths of society," Dubas said Wednesday on Sportsnet's "In Conversation with Ron MacLean."

"I think what we've learned, especially in the last number of days, is that with the Maple Leafs and with our players and with our staff ... we need to be doing more on the anti-racism side of things. Not only with our statements and our words and our tweets and what we put out there but with our actions, and we know that people will be watching us and holding us accountable in that regard."

Dubas added, "I won't hide it, it is reactionary rather than being proactive, which I certainly wish we were. And that's on me ... that we are reacting versus having a plan in place, and it's something that we will be better at as we move ahead."

The 34-year-old believes the onus ultimately falls on him to guide his players and staff in the right direction by providing leadership, education, and proper resources.

"What we're trying to do now is build out a proper protocol where we can educate our entire organization - meaning the Leafs - on what organizations they can get involved with if they want ... and how we can help them moving forward as well as what organizations can help best educate our group," he said.

Dubas is happy with what he's seen so far from his players and staff, many of whom have already reached out to see how they can help.

"One of the most positive movements that we've seen internally ... is that our players and our staff have all been reaching out and asking us what they can actually do rather than what they can say," Dubas said.

He continued, "In the last couple of days, as our players and our staff have asked what more can we do, we've begun to investigate different groups in Toronto, in Canada, and in the United States that our people can be involved with, whether it's donating their time, donating their platform and visibility to those different groups, or financial activism."

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