A group of minority hockey players have come together to form an organization called the Hockey Diversity Alliance to tackles issues of racism within the sport, it was announced Monday. The group is independent of the NHL, but expects to work closely with the league. Its mission, according to a statement, is to "eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey."
We are proud to announce the formation of the Hockey Diversity Alliance 🏒 ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/ycKXhMDkgU— Joel Ward (@JRandalWard42) June 8, 2020
Former Capitals forward Joel Ward will serve on the executive committee with Trevor Daley, Matt Dumba, Wayne Simmonds and Chris Steward. Evander Kane and Akim Alium will serve as co-heads.
Aliu was at the center of exposing racism within the sport in 2019 when he made allegations against his former coach, Bill Peters, that he used racial slurs. That prompted the resignation of Peters from the Calgary Flames in November.
Membership is open to everyone who shares the same goals. Although the HDA is independent of #NHL, goal is to work productively with the league.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 8, 2020
Though the organization formally announced its creation on Monday, the formation of the group, according to Frank Seravalli, has been in the works since December and in recent weeks has already met with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a Zoom meeting. Kaepernick is famous for his decision to take a knee during the National Anthem in protest of the country's treatment of minorities, a protest that many believe ultimately forced him out of the NFL.
"In creating our alliance, we are confident we can inspire a new generation of hockey players and fans," the group's statement read. "We are hopeful that anyone who puts on skates or sits in the stands will do so without worrying about race, gender or socioeconomic background and will be able to express their culture, identity, values and personality without fear of retribution."
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