NHL launches anti-racism initiatives
The NHL is taking a multitude of steps aimed at combating racism and fostering inclusion, the league announced Thursday.
Along with the NHLPA, the NHL will hold mandatory inclusion and diversity training for every player. It will take place during training camp and the beginning of the 2020-21 campaign.
In addition, a new Executive Inclusion Council, co-led by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Buffalo Sabres co-owner Kim Pegula, will seek to foster further inclusion and demand accountability. The council will have several missions, including "working to establish specific hiring targets (and) recommendations on a realistic timetable while commissioning an outside audit of these efforts."
The NHL and NHLPA will launch a hotline, run by a third party, to allow those working in the game to report "unethical behavior and misconduct." In December, Bettman announced the league was considering a hotline following a series of incidents involving coaches.
The league is taking steps to help fans become "active civic participants," and will collaborate with two non-partisan groups to increase voter education and participation in the United States.
All NHL employees will take part in an "inclusion learning experience" overseen by an organization called White Men as Full Diversity Partners. The subject matter will include anti-racism, unconscious bias, and cultural competency.
The league and the players' union pledged to work together with the Hockey Diversity Alliance to set up a grassroots hockey development program for BIPOC boys and girls in the Greater Toronto Area, as well as a similar program in the United States.
The NHL will also proceed with several ongoing initiatives, including its "Courageous Conversations" series - which gives club personnel opportunities to discuss relevant topics - and its "Committing to Change" guide, which will continue to amplify the voices of players, prospects, and alumni who advocate for the cause in order to educate fans and stakeholders.
Click here for a complete overview of the initiatives.