After the NHL was subject to criticism for marching on with its postseason schedule on Wednesday night, the league has confirmed that its slate of games for both Thursday and Friday have been postponed, as to keep the focus squared on human rights and continued social injustice after Jacob Blake, a Black man from Wisconsin, was shot seven times in the back by a police officer last Sunday.
The Hockey Diversity Alliance issued a formal request to the league to suspend the postseason after the NHL suggested it was the players’ responsibility to take action. Two key members of the organization aiming to eradicate racism in hockey, Evander Kane and Matt Dumba, spoke with more than 100 players still inside the bubbles to discuss the situation and the options moving forward.
It’s being considered a player-led initiative, with the Vancouver Canucks believed to be the driving force behind the movement, as far as active teams go.
It’s the action of the players, which the league acknowledged in its statement, that drew the formal announcement out of the NHL, which officially postponed its games more than 24 hours after NBA players forced its league to heed to matters far more important than the results from a resumed season.
Told that the Canucks were the driving force behind ultimate position taken by players not to play...— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) August 27, 2020
According to source, NYI-Philly were going to play tonight, but Canucks' stance shifted the dynamic heading into PA call. Van was scheduled to play Vegas.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) August 27, 2020
It’s expected that everything will be pushed back by two nights, and all originally scheduled games will roll back to account for the change.
This means that Game 3s between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders, as well as the Vegas Golden Knights and Canucks, will be pushed back to Saturday, and the remaining four teams will wait an additional 48 hours to resume their series.
It was the Milwaukee Bucks who spearheaded the boycott on postseason games, and who created a ripple effect across the sporting landscape. They chose to stay in their locker room on Wednesday afternoon as the seconds ticked down toward tip-off of Game 5 of their opening-round series versus the Orlando Magic.
Within hours it was announced the remaining games on the NBA playoff schedule would be postponed. The WNBA and MLS followed suit, and several games across Major League Baseball were suspended as well, while the NHL went ahead with one postseason game in each bubble.
There was a “moment of reflection” before the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins engaged in the third game of their second-round series, but the same acknowledgement was not even given in the moments that led up to the Colorado Avalanche’s victory over the Dallas Stars.
While the hockey games were played, the NBA and its players were having serious discussions over whether or not they would even resume the postseason at all, though they have since agreed to restart the tournament on the weekend.
Just as the NHL will now do.
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