Evander Kane, Akim Aliu lead formation of Hockey Diversity Alliance

Evander Kane will play a leading role in combating racism in hockey. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images)

A group of seven current and former black NHL players have officially launched efforts to help lead meaningful and required change within the hockey community.

In an announcement months in the making, Evander Kane and Akim Aliu were named co-heads of the newly-formed Hockey Diversity Alliance, which stated one clear mission with its press release on Monday: to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey.

Also included on the executive committee are active players Matt Dumba, Wayne Simmonds, Trevor Daley and Chris Stewart, along with former NHLer Joel Ward.

The Hockey Diversity Alliance will operate independent from the NHL, but with the goal to work “productively” with the league in order to lead change. The committee stresses accountability on the part of the NHL and its fans to help develop inclusivity and safety for everyone in the hockey community.

For its part, the Hockey Diversity Alliance vows to be “a force for positive change not only within our game of hockey, but also within society.”

“We will promote diversity at all levels of the game through community outreach and engagement with youth and will endeavour to make the game more affordable and accessible. We will also focus on educating the hockey community about the racism issues confronting the sport, while advocating for acceptance and equality.”

The committee is open to granting membership to anyone who shares the same goals, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli.

The Hockey Diversity Alliance added in its release:

“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.”

The Hockey Diversity Alliance expects to launch a charitable endeavour in the coming weeks to help achieve the stated goals.

According to Seravalli, members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance recently received counsel and support from former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick in conversations over Zoom.

Here’s the full announcement, which each member of the committee shared on their social media platforms:

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