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From the Branches: Reflection is not enough

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The NHL and its players need to take action.

Washington Mystics v Atlanta Dream Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Last night, the NBA, WNBA, and several MLB and MLS teams chose to strike and not play their scheduled games—postseason games, in the NBA’s case—in protest of continued inaction on racism and police violence towards Black people.

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"IT WAS ALL A DREAM" It's becoming a bit tiring hearing from from people who haven't experienced our plight in life comment on how we should express it. Most people in this hockey world do not know the feeling of going to bed hungry at night. They do not understand the hopelessness of living in government housing and seedy motels amongst drug attics and prostitution. Many do not know the pressure of being 11 years old and burdened with having to make it to the NHL to financially support your family. The Stewart family beat the system. We were taught that we have to work twice as hard for half the opportunity of others and that is wrong. We should have been treated as equals and granted the same opportunities as others despite are socioeconomic status and colour of our skin. We're at odds as we do not not know what to tell our children as they have a much easier life despite being visible minorities. We do not want to have to teach them the same lessons we were taught as we hope the world IS and WILL be different, and the system isnt designed against them to become successful in their lives. We dont want your pity, your hashtags, your courtesy tweets. We want the system to make hockey more accessible and affordable so people that look like us have the opportunity to change their lives through this great game. The real tragedy is that the way the current hockey system is constructed, families that aren't affluent have very little opportunity to excel in the game. Families cannot afford 10's of thousands of dollars a year to supplement training , pay for equipment and registration costs. I estimate it costs anywhere from $100,000 -$200,000 to financially support a minor Hockey player. That's the travesty as it directly impacts a certain class of people and demographic. That must change!!!! That is the change we strive for.

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