The wave of PR statements from teams has abated, with every team except for the New York Rangers and the Ottawa Senators* now having posted a nice graphic on their social media channels.
*technically the Ottawa Senators Foundation did tweet one, but the official Senators account has now revoked their retweet so we’re very much not counting that.
All of the statements followed some fairly predictable PR notes. Some of them were a bit more bold than others, directly saying “George Floyd”, “Black Lives Matter”, and making reference to violent racism and oppression, though even those were generally chased by mentions of the need for peaceful protests. Not a single team named police violence, or provided information about what, exactly, their alleged commitment to anti-racism means.
While I don’t expect much from Brands™ on these issues, other than the above mentioned requisite statement to make sure they’re not subjected to the full wrath of the internet, Kyle Dubas did follow it up with an interview with Sportsnet in which he mentioned regretting that MLSE was now being put in the position of needing to be reactive, rather than proactive, in addressing racism.
In the interview he mentioned that they are looking at different groups in Canada and the United States that staff and players can be involved in – by volunteering, amplifying, or donating. We’re definitely at the put up or shut up stage in the game – looking @ you, every league and brand who profits off Black athletes and fans – so hopefully they will be putting some money towards some of the amazing organizations doing work across both countries, and soon. In the meantime, there’s a very simple pledge that the Toronto Maple Leafs, and every other NHL team, can take.
You claim to care about Black lives?
Stop. Celebrating. Cops.
More details of NHL playoff format decided
Exciting news! There won’t be brackets!
2020 PPP T25U25: It’s time to talk prospects
It’s not quite the same as previous years, but the Top 25 Under 25 must go on.
2020 T25U25 Community Vote is Live
And don’t forget to cast your own vote!
From the Branches
Maple Leafs Should Play Robertson with Matthews
The Hockey Writers make the argument for Robertson to play on Auston Matthews’ wing for the playoffs.
Peterborough Petes forward Nick Robertson wins national Sportsman of the Year Award
Speaking of everyone’s favourite prospect, he won another award!
GTHL keeps secret its data on penalties called for discriminatory slurs
The President of the GTHL has stated that they don’t publish that stat “since that may damage the reputation of the vast majority of the young players in our league whose good sportsmanship is beyond question” which is, for some reason, really not a statement that is convincing me that that’s the case. Maybe because, if the vast majority of the players are beyond question, one would assume that the number of suspensions for using slurs would be so small they wouldn’t hesitate to disclose it.
Current and former Black WHL players came together to share a video talking about the Black Lives Matter movement:
View this post on Instagram
@zstringerr, @mekaisanders, and myself have teamed up with current and former black WHL players to speak out about the ongoing situation with the Black Lives Matter movement. These are not times to be silent. We are strongly proud of who we are and we will always speak up for our people because #BlackLivesMatter. We will be teaming up with @teddywearclothing to make #blacklivesmatter hoodies for the months of June/July to promote the cause...
The NHL is apparently pushing back the start of camps:
Talking to people around the hockey world last night and this morning, it sounds like the league's target date to open NHL camps is now being pushed from mid-July to Aug. 1.— Eric Francis (@EricFrancis) June 4, 2020
The Penguins have shared that they had a case of COVID-19 among their players:
And the Senators, somehow, against all odds, continue to be the Senators:
The Sens have responded to the news from @sensfoundation.— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) June 4, 2020
Club claims they informed the foundation “months ago” that they would open fair and transparent process to continue their charitable arm.
Full release: pic.twitter.com/Em8M4RBlVj
Their dedication to constantly being the most bizarre story in hockey is truly inspiring.