Teams and players across the National Hockey League are speaking out against racial injustice in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death while in police custody last week in Minneapolis.
On Sunday, the NHL put out a statement that read: “As protests in both the United States and Canada in recent days have focused attention upon racial injustice for the Black community, the NHL stands with all those who are working to achieve a racially just society, and against all those who perpetuate and uphold racism, hatred, bigotry and violence.
“We share the sentiments expressed by our players and Clubs in their calls for justice, and we encourage everyone to use their platforms and privilege for systemic change. In our own sport, we will continue to do better and work diligently toward culture change throughout hockey and endeavour to be mindful of our own shortcomings in this process.”
Here is a collection of the sentiments being shared from across the NHL community.
— P.K. Subban (@PKSubban1) May 30, 2020
Toronto Maple Leafs
“All of our collective hearts were broken as we watched the senseless murder of George Floyd, as well as the pain and frustration displayed in protests that followed across the globe.
“Together, we need to do more to not only speak out against racism when we witness it, but commit ourselves to anti-racist efforts in the long run to ensure its defeat once and for all. Change is needed and, as leaders in our sport and community, the Toronto Maple Leafs are deeply committed to doing our part to help eradicate all forms of bigotry and racism.”
“As a Latino American it is impossible for me to understand and fathom what others endure.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones and who have endured pain and suffering due to hateful racist attitudes and beliefs.
“The world must unite not divide. We need to stand together in support of justice, love and peace for all. We need change.”
“The events of the past week opened my eyes to how I will never fully understand the struggles of our black and minority communities. I will continue to listen and learn so that I can be part of meaningful change. Times like these show we must come together to commit ourselves to anti-racism and equality for all. Let’s do our part to build a better future.”
“America is not ok. Growing up outside Minneapolis, I always felt sheltered from racism. That’s because I was. Most people I grew up with looked like me. I never had to be scared when I stopped at a traffic light or saw the police in public. My kids will never know that fear either.
“I’m heartbroken that we still treat people this way. We need to stand with the black community and fundamentally change how the leadership in this country has dealt with racism. I’m sorry it has taken this long, but I’m hopeful that we can change this NOW. George Floyd’s life mattered. Ahmaud Arbery’s life mattered. So did every other life that has been lost by this senseless violence and racism.”
“As many communities across North America struggle profoundly with racial injustice, True North Sports + Entertainment lends its voice to condemn racism and violence during this difficult time. We support and stand by our captain, Blake Wheeler, for his leadership and courage to express his point of view. Together, with one voice, we recognize more work needs to be done to end racism for all minority communities, and we remain committed to work closely with our community to continue to move forward.”
“I have watched and listened to the peaceful gatherings of people in protest and I have nothing but compassion and respect for that. I have also watched the looting and the riots. I certainly don’t approve of those actions, but as many of YOU have opened my eyes to, I see that these actions may be coming from real pain and suffering. I can at least try to comprehend that.
“I will never be able to truly feel the pain and suffering that all men and women of color feel, but I will continue to further educate myself on the real issue of racism, so I can help my community, my friends, my family and my son, much like my parents did for me. I encourage people to speak out on this issue. One voice can make a difference, and I hope this can help you find yours, much like my community and peers helped me find mine.”
“The Montreal Canadiens would like to express our support for the peaceful protests that have taken place following the death of George Floyd. Like everyone, we were horrified by the images of this heinous and despicable crime. Violence and racism need to stop, and as an organization we have always been committed to doing our part to share our fundamental values of inclusion and respect. We will continue being a part of this fight.”
“I have been baffled and frustrated since I first saw the disturbing and senseless killing of George Floyd. I have not been sure how to express my feelings. Growing up in a small town never afforded me the worldly experiences to understand racism or to ever really think about this issue as a young individual. My eyes have been opened to the realities that many people who don’t look like me on a daily basis. Racism is very real and must be called out.”
“There’s a large group of people begging to be heard. We need to listen.
“To do this we all need to work together. This shouldn’t be protestors against police, it should be good against evil. I’ve seen a lot of images of protestors and police officers standing in solidarity over the last week and it’s been very powerful to watch. We need more of that! That message of togetherness is what will create the change we all want to see.
“When positivity overwhelms negativity, good will overwhelm evil in the world.”
“While I will never truly understand the anger and fear in the black community, I want to learn and understand how I can support them. I want to learn and understand how I can support them. One thing I do understand is that I’ve been given white privilege my entire life and will never know anything different. It is past time for our conversations to change among the white community. I believe our demographic has the best chance of making positive change for the generations to come. I am listening, and I am learning.”
New Jersey Devils
“The racism, prejudice and injustice faced by the black community and people of color is unacceptable and has no place in our society. We must take it upon ourselves to support one another and strive towards greater accountability.
“The only way we will be able to address these important issues is to work together as a unified community and commit to the change that must happen.”
“WE all have a voice, use it. Help create an environment where WE can all be treated equally. No matter what your race, religion or belief you may have, you should not stay silent about social inequality. Please spread the word. #JusticeForAll”
“Growing up playing hockey, it is obvious that I was part of a visible minority. As a kid, playing sports helped me develop strength which allowed me to brush off racist comments as much as possible, even though they still happened. Watching the events unfold across America makes me extremely sad. I wish I could say what happened to [George Floyd] was an isolated event, but I know it’s not. The problem is that everyone has known that for a long time, and yet very little was done about it. And now people have had enough.”
Evander Kane on Writers Bloc
“When you have ethnicities other than the ones that are being affected step up and say something, that causes a real dialogue. It can cause real change. And it can cause people to really open up their eyes and come together, and I think that’s the biggest thing. And we don’t have nearly enough of that, clearly.”
San Jose Sharks owner Hasso Plattner
“There is no room for racism in society. We applaud Evander for his rational and thoughtful response to the recent terrible tragedy. Events like this occur way too often. We all must find a way to do better.”
“I applaud Evander for speaking the truth. Racism exists in society, it also exists in hockey. That’s a fact. Growing up in this game is a privilege. At times I think most of us have been at fault for turning a blind eye when it comes to racism. It cannot continue.”
My thoughts. Sorry if this offends anyone. All love pic.twitter.com/9BbktIrxqd
— Logan Couture (@Logancouture) May 30, 2020
“Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation denounces racism in all forms and is committed to equality. Sports can play a role in raising awareness and helping to bring all people together in these difficult times. We stand with our fans, players, staff and their families and offer our support.”
“Oilers Entertainment Group is resolute in condemning racism and injustice. We join those affected by senseless violence and heartily support those who protest peacefully.
“We cannot ignore the issues of inequality in our society, they are real and must be confronted. In this time of hurt and pain, we cannot turn away or defer to others. We must all be a voice for change, a voice for those marginalized in our communities. Let’s stand together against racism and injustice at all levels.
“Let’s all be role models. Let’s all make a difference. Together. As one.”
“We must continue to strive for a better tomorrow through education and actions! Sending love and strength to everyone hurting at this time. Stay Safe.”
— Darnell Nurse (@drtwofive) June 1, 2020
“It’s hard to articulate my feelings right now. That said, what’s happening is wrong. We all have a responsibility to act; to listen, to learn, to speak up but most importantly to never accept anything less than equality, justice, anti-racism and love.”
“Tweets, quotes, insta stories are cool… but we need to act… We plan to do everything we can to be honest about our own privilege and prejudice moving forward. This isn’t about praise, just hoping we can be part of the solution in the hockey community and beyond. #blacklivesmatter”
“The Minnesota Wild are deeply saddened by the death of George Floyd Monday night. Everyone in our community deserves the right to feel safe and protected. These times call for our community to come together and not be divisive. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of George Floyd.”
“I’ve been sad, angry and disturbed by the senseless unjust we have all witnessed this past week. I have been scared for the families in my community. I know I do not want to feel this way ever again; the feeling of helplessness. The feeling too many have to face each day. I am here for you. To lean on, to listen to, to embrace, to have a voice and to be a leader in our community!
“We all must be there for each other and never forget about these tragedies. People learn to hate, I hope one day we can drown that hate by teaching our youth how to love and respect one another no matter of ethnicity.”
— Matt Dumba (@matt_dumba) June 2, 2020
“Today I saw my community giving, mourning, preaching, singing, cleaning, and demanding justice. Until you’ve walked the streets of America Black, you cannot tell us how to grieve. I am proud of the beauty and strength I saw today.”
Vegas Golden Knights
“The Vegas Golden Knights vehemently condemn racism in all its forms. Prejudice, violence and bigotry have no place in our society. We understand significant reforms are needed in order to create lasting, meaningful change that will end the systemic discrimination and injustices that have existed for far too long. We firmly stand in solidarity with all of those who peacefully seek to inspire this change.”
“We need to come together as a community, to have the conversations and take the steps necessary to stop racism in every form. We all need, expect and demand equality and justice for all.”
“I’m going to listen and educate myself. This is a WE problem. This is about human rights. We need to make the world a better place.” #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd
“We support the fight against racism and hatred along with peaceful protests to bring awareness to this critical issue in our society. We urge those demonstrating to do so in a non-violent manner, so the focus can remain where it should — on equality all across America.”
“The events over the past several days have been painful for our city of Chicago and the many communities within it. There is no tolerance for racism and inequality in our city and society.”
“As a privileged white man playing in the NHL (a predominantly white league) I feel it’s as important now as ever to show support for the black community and encourage change. If you think the current way black people and other minorities are treated here today is ok… you are a racist. If you don’t have an opinion or are ‘neutral’ on this subject then you are ignorant and misinformed.
“Personally I don’t like posting my opinions on social media these days for several reasons. However, with the amount of racist people (especially those in positions of power) being exposed during this movement, I felt the need to show my support for the black community and the need for change.”
“I’ve thought a lot about what’s gone on the past week and prayed about it. How we, as humans, have gotten to this point. The silence that has gone on for so long is now deafening! The oppressions that so many face is heartbreaking.
“I will never pretend to understand your pain however I will promise to better myself and continue to listen and educate myself and my children so that this moment in time will be looked back on and remembered as when the world started to heal and come together.”
“Our nation is in mourning and in pain as we continue to struggle with the resistant legacy of racism and racial inequality. So often, sports have played a critical role in binding and integrating societies. During some of America’s darkest days, sports have provided a source of light. From Jesse Owens to Jackie Robinson to Muhammad Ali, selfless and courageous athletes have opened our hearts, eyes and minds. Embracing diversity and accommodating difference to create a symphonic whole, marks a core virtue of any team.”
“We know racial inequities exist within our society, and we will not be silent in the face of racial injustice.
“We will use our platform to facilitate these difficult, but necessary conversations and to be a partner in the fight against systemic racism.”
“We muse see, acknowledge, listen to the struggles of minorities. We must hear the Generational Hurt and sit with what we morally look like in the Mirror when we examine more closely. We must change individually to foster change nationally. We must celebrate, champion, lift those in life fighting a battle more difficult than our own.”
Braden and Brandi Holtby
“We are here for you.
“We are listening to you.
“We are angry & we are upset.
“We are fighting alongside you.
“We are appalled by the action of those officers & the inaction of so many others.
“We commit ourselves to do more than post.
“To stand up & use our privilege & our platform.”
“Black Lives Matter. There is no place for racism or hate in our world. After taking some time to think about the best way to offer my support, I’ve decided that one way to start is to take action in my own community. I will be making a donation to the “East Of The River Mutual Aid Fund” as well as to the Fort Dupont Cannons Hockey Program. The Cannons, based in DC, are the oldest minority hockey program in the country. I am contributing to these funds today, but I am committing to learn, to listen and to support going forward.”
“#BlackLivesMatter. Like many, I grieve the senseless murder of George Floyd and countless other black Americans. The racism that plagues our country is unacceptable. While as a white man I have not experienced racism and its anguish firsthand, I stand in support of those who have and acknowledge the need to deeply transform as a country. We have to do better to eliminate all forms of racism and inspire positive, permanent change.
“I have always believed that actions speak louder than words, but I felt it was necessary and important to add my voice to help advance things in any way I can. I am committed to using my position to learn, listen and be a part of the solution.”
Los Angeles Kings
“The LA Kings are united against racism and acts of hatred toward others.
“Our voice is here to support the Black community and condemn these injustices. Now is the time to raise the volume peacefully.
“Enough Racism. Enough Senseless Violence. ENOUGH.”
“I know I’ll never understand what is it like to be black in America. What I do know is that it’s time to be better and do better. It is our responsibility to advocate for justice and equality, and to condemn racism and prejudice of all forms. We cannot stay silent. We must work towards a better future.”
“Human rights are not optional They need to be equal for all and they need to be protected. Seeing the injustice directed towards the black community, it is evident that there is a lot of work to do in this regard.
“The Dallas Stars stand with those using their voice in peaceful protest, striving for equality and justice. We are committed towards building a more inclusive, loving and peaceful world.
“Enough is enough. It is time to listen. It is time to be the change. Help end racism. There’s no place for it.”
“I haven’t felt good all week. I’ve felt fear and an uneasiness to speak up. This is the first time in my life where I’ve really had this feeling. This is the first time in my life where I’ve really had this feeling. I’m a white hockey player and it’s not my place to say I can ever say I truly understand. But as I witness and digest the gravity of the pain that others are going through, at the very least I want to show my support.
“If anything, I can say my sense of empathy is growing. I’m listening harder than ever, but I don’t like what I’m hearing. I see people’s pain much more clearly, specifically in the black community. Seeing George Floyd’s life drained from him was horrific and startling. It still doesn’t compute and it isn’t right.”
“I have been having a difficult time to find the words on my feelings. I’m not the best putting it to paper but I’m going to do my best. I respect the good men and women of law enforcement that use their authority the right way to protect all of our citizens. I will continue to support you. I’m also heartbroken seeing cities that I love burning, including my hometown, but more so, I’m angry at the injustice of George Floyd and the other fallen men and women whose lives were taken too soon.
“I’ll never truly understand the years and years of struggle and fear that men and women have carried with them all because of the color of their skin. All I can do is use my voice to speak fo you, defend you, to listen, to understand and to continue learning.”
New York Islanders
“We condemn racism and injustice and stand with all affected by senseless violence. We must come together, treating each other with empathy, dignity, and respect.
“The New York Islanders endorse the NHL’s statement, which includes: ‘In our own sport we will continue to do better and work diligently toward culture change throughout hockey and endeavor to be mindful of our own shortcomings in this process.
“To the brave officers who to work every day seeing the human being and not the color of one’s skin, we thank you for protecting us.”
“I will never fully understand because of the color of my skin but I have an opportunity to make a difference. I stand for anti-racism. I stand for the rights of black people in America, so we can all be equal.”
“I’ve contemplated saying anything at all but that’s the problem right there. I will never fully understand due to the colour of my skin but I do know there needs to be change.”
“I feel as though I have been sheltered from racism my entire life. I have never dealt with any type of oppression. I don’t know what that type of pain and suffering feels like. I grew up playing minor hockey with Akim Aliu and while I knew he and others I have played with and against had dealt with racism, I never really recognized or understood the extent of it.
“It breaks my heart that anyone would have to go through something like that in order to play the game that they love. I believe most teams I have been apart of have fostered an environment of inclusivity regardless of race, but the truth is we could have done better, just as we need to do better.”
“Always learning from my good friend, JT Brown. But it is not JT’s responsibility to educate us. We must put in the work. I have taken the past couple days to identify my privilege, to read, watch, listen, sign, donate, and I will never stop doing my part to ensure I am an active ally. I urge you to do the same.”