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Hockey Diversity Alliance

Evander Kane of the San Jose Sharks will be co-head of the Hockey Diversity Alliance. Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

A number of Hockey players of Color have come together in a mission to eradicate racism and intolerance in Hockey. The group, which includes Evander Kane of the San Jose Sharks, release a statement this morning that outlined their purpose and goals.

The formation of the Hockey Diversity Alliance comes on the back of protests worldwide following the brutal murder of George Floyd by cops in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Co-head Akim Aliu has made the news in recent months after he spoke about the treatment he received from former coach Bill Peters along with an altercation with former junior teammate Steve Downie. Aliu said in a players’ tribune piece that Downie

”came up to me a few days after I refused to take part in his horrific ritual and tapped me on the shoulder during a practice. I turned, and he shoved his fiberglass stick through my mouth. I lost seven teeth in half a second. Blood gushing down my chest into my pants.”

Evander Kane will be co-head with Aliu and has been one of the most outspoken hockey players when it comes to racism within the sport. Kane, who has played for the Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres and San Jose Sharks was on ESPN’s First Take last week talking about George Floyd’s murder and the changes needed in the NHL.

The executive committee will consist of Trevor Daley, who has played over 1,000 games in the NHL, Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild, Wayne Simmonds of the New Jersey Devils, Chris Stewart, and former player Joel Ward. The goal is to open up a sport that has had problems with racism in the past. Just recently a zoom call with New York Rangers prospect K’Andre Miller was hijacked by someone posting racial slurs repeatedly. The group hopes to open Hockey to a wider community and include everyone regardless of “race, gender or socioeconomic background”.

24-Team Playoff Format

While the group “will be independent of the NHL” they are hopeful they can “work productively with the league to accomplish these important changes”.

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