In addition to getting hockey up and running again in the wake of COVID-19 and subsequent health and safety measures that have been and will be implemented, making the sport more diverse is a priority for Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney.
Renney said Wednesday during an appearance on Hockey Central that the formation of the Hockey Diversity Alliance “is an outstanding moment” in the effort to make the game better for all.
Former NHL forward Anson Carter weighed in on the Alliance — which is co-headlined by Evander Kane and Akim Aliu, and also includes Trevor Daley, Matt Dumba, Wayne Simmonds, Chris Stewart and Joel Ward — on Tuesday, saying he hopes it will have a say in things that happen in the NHL but also with USA Hockey and Hockey Canada at the grassroots level.
Speaking to Sportsnet 590 Wednesday, Renney praised the Alliance and discussed how it could work with Hockey Canada.
“The Hockey Diversity Alliance is an outstanding moment and I can only imagine that that can swell in numbers by the credibility of the people that have had this experience that too few of us have had, and we’ve got to pay attention to that,” Renney said.
In the past couple weeks, as protests continue throughout the United States and around the globe, the hockey community has been vocal in its condemnation of systemic racism. Renney discussed how this moment could impact the sport moving forward.
“I think first of all, like most of us should under the circumstances, it’s time to be introspective and look at what we’re doing and what we need to do better, which in lots of cases, it’s significant,” Renney said. “I think that goes with any walk of life in any domain in anything that we are doing as a culture, certainly in Canada but globally.”
Renney understands that it will be a collaborative effort, too.
“No. 1, be introspective; No. 2, reach out, ask for help in auditing what we’re doing, how to do it better, recognize the most important voice of all and that is the participant in this case,” he added.
“Racism is unfortunately alive in Canada and we can’t hide from that, and certainly Hockey Canada won’t — but we certainly can’t be so arrogant as to think we’ve got the solution and the answers. We need help and we’re not afraid to ask for it.”