HDA cuts ties with NHL, calls league's equality work 'performative'
The Hockey Diversity Alliance is not satisfied with the NHL's anti-racism work and will no longer operate hand-in-hand with the league as a result.
"The HDA is grateful for the support from the public we received. Unfortunately, the support we hoped (to get) from the NHL was not delivered and instead the NHL focused on performative public relations efforts that seemed aimed at quickly moving past important conversations about race needed in the game," the organization said in a statement obtained by TSN's Frank Seravalli on Wednesday.
"We have waited many months for a response to the common sense HDA pledge we proposed and it is clear that the NHL is not prepared to make any measurable commitments to end systemic racism in hockey," the HDA continued.
"While we are disappointed, the HDA will operate separate and independent of the NHL and authentically implement necessary education programs and changes to the sport and seek to be role models for the youth in Black and Brown communities who want to play hockey."
The NHL unveiled a series of anti-racism initiatives in conjunction with the NHLPA in early September, which included mandatory inclusion and diversity training for every player. Those strategies came less than a week after the HDA presented its plan to players, which laid out the steps recommended after the alliance and caused the players to convince the league to postpone games for two days.
Seven current and retired NHL players of color founded the HDA on June 8 in the midst of nationwide protests that stemmed from George Floyd's death in police custody in late May. San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane and former NHLer Akim Aliu are the entity's co-heads.
One day after helping launch the HDA, Kane said it was "imperative" that the group worked with the league to bring about the sought changes.