Evander Kane calls NHL response to Jacob Blake shooting 'insulting'

Sharks' Evander Kane

As professional athletes, teams and entire leagues didn't play Wednesday in order to protest another high-profile police shooting of a Black man, the NHL hit the ice. 

Three NBA playoff games, three WNBA games, three MLB games and four MLS games were called off Wednesday in light of players boycotting in protest of a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer shooting 29-year-old Jacob Blake seven times in the back Sunday. Meanwhile, there were no changes to the NHL's Wednesday slate.

Both playoff games scheduled after the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted theirs against the Orlando Magic -- becoming the first team to do so Wednesday -- went on as originally planned. The NHL held a "moment of reflection" prior to Game 3 of the second-round series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins, but not, as the league said it would, before Game 3 of the Colorado Avalanche-Dallas Stars series.

Sharks forward Evander Kane tweeted that the NHL's "lack of action and acknowledgment" was "[straight-up] insulting."

Kane told "Hockey Central" host David Amber before Wednesday night's NHL games that the NBA players' boycott of games made "a real powerful statement" and "took a lot of guts." The 29-year-old, who's the co-head of the Hockey Diversity Alliance alongside former NHL player Akim Aliu, said it was "disappointing" he hadn't "seen or heard anything" from the league about Blake at that point.

"It's not just my responsibility as a minority player in the NHL to be talking about these issues," Kane told Amber. "It's not just Wayne Simmonds, or Akim Aliu, or Joel Ward, or Matt Dumba's stance, or issues in this society. It's everybody's. And until everybody decides to take it upon themselves and maybe step away from some of their privileges to educate themselves and really fight with us, we're gonna be in the same situation we are today."

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Players on the Bruins and Lightning told reporters Wednesday night they didn't learn the NBA had postponed its games until after they arrived at Scotiabank Arena, and neither team really discussed not playing. Stars forward Jason Dickinson, who kneeled during the national anthem alongside teammate Tyler Seguin and Vegas Golden Knights players Ryan Reaves and Robin Lehner during the NHL's round robin, told reporters "it didn't seem like the right call" to boycott Wednesday's game. Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said Wednesday "maybe wasn't the time and place for us." 

But if not now, on the same night four other leagues at least partially postponed its schedules, when and where will be?

"It's great to write statements," Kane told Amber. "It's great to send tweets. It's great to post stories and pictures on Instagram, but at the end of the day, it's gonna be about real action and meaningful change. Unfortunately, that still isn't occurring and we need to be better."