According to a report, the president and CEO of the NHL’s Dallas Stars said the team has lost a number of season ticket holders because of the team’s support of Black Lives Matter and protests dealing with race.
Brad Alberts stated, “But we/I stand by our organization’s commitment and support our players 100% to express their views,” as the Dallas News reported.
On Thursday, at a news conference the NHL held in Edmonton with members of the Stars, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canuck, Jason Dickinson of the Stars spoke for the team with his teammates behind him. He said, “We were able to start a good conversation among our team stemming from that moment. That’s exactly what we wanted. We wanted to get the conversation going, not only amongst ourselves, but amongst the country and the world.”
Stars interim coach Rick Bowness added, “We’re all against the social injustice and racial discrimination that’s going on around the world. If our players think that this is the best way that they can support that, then they have our full support and we are proud of the stance that they have taken.”
“Dickinson and Tyler Seguin knelt for both the American and Canadian national anthems — alongside Vegas’ Ryan Reaves and Robin Lehner — on Aug. 3 in support of Black Lives Matter. The group became the first in the NHL to kneel in uniform before a game …” the Dallas News noted.
Last week, instigated by the players, the NHL postponed playoff games scheduled for Thursday and Friday. The league stated, “Black and Brown communities continue to face real, painful experiences. The NHL and NHLPA recognize that much work remains to be done before we can play an appropriate role in a discussion centered on diversity, inclusion and social justice. We understand that the tragedies involving Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others require us to recognize this moment. We pledge to work to use our sport to influence positive change in society.”
As the NHL playoffs resumed on Saturday at the Scotiabank Arena, there was a three-minute “Moment of Solidarity” during which a video was played through the sound system in which commentator Kevin Weekes stated, “In hockey we often let our effort, determination and passion to win do the talking. But when an issue is bigger than the game we must speak out, starting with three words we need to get comfortable saying: Black. Lives. Matter. Equality is the only way forward. As players, as fans and as active citizens we must confront these issues.”
On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins to take a 3-1 lead in their series. Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman noted, “A little bit of difference going into today’s game after the last 48 hours. The conversations we’ve had within our team and within the whole bubble, interacting with other teams, that’s been anything but hockey. But today was a different day.”