Hockey players across the NHL have been rightfully applauded for the thoughtful way they’ve handled an unquestionably uncomfortable topic when it comes to the "Black Lives Matter" protests in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis.
Current NHL players like Evander Kane have expressed what it feels like to be a minority in the largely white National Hockey League, and past Black NHL players like Kevin Weekes, Anson Carter and Jarome Iginla have been valuable voices in the steps that the NHL can continue to take in the fight for justice and equal treatment.
But it’s going to take everybody to make the last few weeks a movement that will last with meaningful impact, and that means thoughtful, influential NHL players like Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara getting involved as well. They both did that with meaningful, real statements over the last week and by getting involved whether it was Bergeron’s $50,000 donation or Chara marching in one of the "Black Lives Matter" rallies on the streets of Boston last week.
Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App
Both players have long been compassionate, hard-working uniters when it comes to the Bruins dressing room, so it was no surprise to B’s general manager Don Sweeney when he saw them getting involved as both hockey players and human beings.
“You know I was reading articles this morning on Anson Carter and a couple of the players I played with that are getting involved, Trevor Daley, and having a higher profile. I applaud each and every player for their individual efforts and support them. They have the complete backing of the Boston Bruins,” said Don Sweeney last week during a Zoom video call with Bruins reporters.
“From an organizational standpoint and a personal one, I applaud each and every players’ individual efforts in their own lives outside the realm of hockey. They’re human beings and they’re acting very, very well from the standpoint of humanity. I think [they both] acknowledged the listening aspect of this and the realization that we all can continue to do a much better job of that to mobilize our efforts.”
The key for Bergeron, Chara, and the rest of the NHL for that matter, is to keep these commendable efforts visible, impactful and ongoing as the business of the NHL starts to get going over the next couple of months. There’s no doubt that will happen given how plainly obvious the need is for change and reform when it comes to making certain that everybody working, playing and living in the United States is treated equally in their pursuits of life, liberty and happiness.