Evander Kane: NHL 'has made no effort to support its own Black players'
Since the Hockey Diversity Alliance formed a bit over a month ago, Evander Kane says the group has been unable to find common ground with the NHL in its discussions.
"The NHL can put ‘Black Lives Matter’ all over the rink, shout ‘Black Lives Matter’ from the mountains,” the San Jose Sharks forward said, according to TSN's Frank Seravalli. "No matter what they do or say, it’s all going to fall on deaf ears with me and every other person in the HDA because the league has made no effort to support its own Black players.”
Kane, Akim Aliu, Trevor Daley, Anthony Duclair, Matt Dumba, Nazem Kadri, Wayne Simmonds, Chris Stewart, and Joel Ward all helped create the organization.
The HDA has presented ways the league can help the cause to the NHL over the past few weeks, but they have yet to agree on anything, and discussions remain ongoing, Kane said.
The 28-year-old added that the HDA and NHL met over a Zoom call on Wednesday and that it was "pretty hostile at times."
Kane criticized the league's upcoming #WeSkateFor initiative that will roll out when games resume on Aug. 1. The NHL's plan revolves around several issues and causes that encompass the Black community, LGBTQ community, frontline workers, and many others.
"We support all of those issues and we always have. But this is the NHL’s campaign to talk about our issue," Kane added.
"They’re trying to wrap all of these separate issues – including mental health, LGTBQ, women’s rights, everything – into one when our message is about racism. It completely yet again misses the mark and is so out of touch with what we’re talking about."
The NHL's senior vice president of social impact Kim Davis responded to this by saying, "Until you see how the treatment of anti-racism and ‘Black Lives’ actually rolls out on Saturday, it’s probably premature to judge how effectively we deliver the message, and whether we’ve ‘missed the mark.'"
Earlier on Thursday the HDA released a video that included a number of star athletes from across all sports leagues such as Patrick Mahomes, Brooks Koepka, and Connor McDavid expressing their support for the organization: