The NHL Officially Joins Other Leagues in Postponing Playoff Games

The NHL and NHLPA officially announced that they are postponing tonight and tomorrow’s playoff games to reflect on and not distract from the Black Lives Matter movement. They join the NBA, WNBA, MLB, and MLS in doing so, all of which postponed at least some of their games yesterday as well. Here’s the joint statement released by the NHL and NHLPA.

Several teams have made statements themselves, including the Bruins.

Reports that this was happening circled all day, with all the prominent insiders saying it was a done deal. All that was left to do was for the league to announce it. The one detail there were conflicting reports about though was whether it would just be for one day or two. Now that there has been an official announcement, we now know it’s for two days, so all eight teams will have a game postponed. All games will be rescheduled for this weekend, and as a result, the league will adjust the rest of the schedule accordingly.

How This Came About

All of last night’s playoff games continued on as scheduled despite all other leagues postponing at least some games. The players claimed they did not have enough time to discuss postponing the games before it was time to drop the puck. All they did was have a seven-second moment of reflection before the Bruins-Lightning game. There was no such moment before the game between the Stars and the Avalanche. As a result, the league and its’ players faced a lot of backlash.

However, this morning, all eight remaining teams held meetings to discuss postponing games. There was also a Zoom call, initiated by white players, between about 100 players and the Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA), namely Evander Kane and Akim Aliu. The HDA also put in a formal request to the NHL to postpone at least tonight’s games. Following the news that at least one team had decided not to play tonight, reports came out that no games would be played tonight. You can read more about all of this from Couch Guy Sports’ own Jess Belmosto here. The reports were finally confirmed by the NHL a few hours ago.

My Thoughts

This is absolutely the right thing to do. While I initially felt like there are other things that might bring more change, I’m white. I will never understand what it’s like to be a black person in America. So what I think doesn’t matter. This is what the NBA, a league made up largely of BIPOC players, decided was best, and all the others followed suit. If this is what they feel is best, it’s what should be done. We need to amplify black voices, not speak over them. We will NEVER understand what it’s liked to be discriminated against by the color of our skin, so we can’t say what’s the best way to start changing that.

One thing that has been made clear is that this was the players’ decision, which is good. The NHL left this in their hands. It was not forced upon them as a PR stunt. It shows that players are actually listening and care. Yes, it’s frustrating they didn’t join the other leagues last night. But at least they’re doing something now. It’s much better to be late to the party then never show up (although being on time to it is best by a long shot)

I also believe that the players didn’t know what was best yesterday and didn’t have time to figure out. Should they have known? Yeah. But, it can be hard to know what’s best to do as a white person supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. You want to amplify their voices, not speak over them. So, while I’m not trying to make an excuse, I see where they were coming from a bit considering how white the NHL is. That being said, it’s not hard to know that speaking up/taking action is better than doing nothing.

Final Thoughts

I love hockey more than anything. It’s unfortunate they postponed the games for selfish reasons. But, I’m happy they did. NOTHING is more important than a life. Black lives are under attack right now and have been for a long time. It’s time to stop distracting ourselves from that fact and face it head-on. Change needs to happen, starting now. Taking a few days off from sports isn’t going to solve racism by any means. But, it makes people have difficult conversations that they probably wouldn’t have had otherwise. So it’s what needs to be done. Here’s hoping it can help spark true change in our country because we desperately need it. Black Lives Matter. Today, tomorrow, and always.

-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12)

Featured image courtesy of NHL.com

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