The Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA) is separating from the NHL.
Co-founded by San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane and former NHL player Akim Ali, HDA does not believe the NHL is committed to resolving barriers to the entry of blacks, natives and people of color (Bipok).
“The support we hoped to receive from the NHL was not given, instead the NHL focused on public relations efforts on display, which aimed to quickly move past important conversations about the race needed in the game,” HDA said in a statement Wednesday.
The organization includes Buffalo Sabers forward Wayne Simmonds, Colorado Avalanche Center Nazem Kadri, Ottawa senators forward Anthony Duclair and Minnesota wild defenseman Matthew Dumba.
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The HDA has a list of concrete steps that the NHL wants to take, including funding grassroots programs for minorities, funding effective social justice programs, anti-racist education, goals aimed at promoting black individuals and businesses, and regime change to make changes. The culture of the game is more inclusive.
“We have been waiting for months for a response to the common sense HDA pledge we have proposed, and it is clear that the NHL is not ready to make measurable commitments to end systemic racism in hockey,” HDA said in a statement.
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“HDA operates differently and independently of the NHL and is committed to implementing the necessary educational programs and changes in the sport and striving to be a role model for young people in the Bipok community who want to play hockey.”
The NHL announced a number of anti-racism programs in early September, including mandatory inclusion and diversification training for players and “inclusion learning experience” for employees.
The League and Players’ Association said it would work with HDA to establish a grassroots hockey development program for the Bipok communities in the Toronto area.
Among other announced announcements, the league said it has begun talks about building a more diverse business pipeline and exploring ways to interact with ethnically diverse companies.
The NHL came under fire on August 26 for going ahead with a full game.
The shooting of a black man in Wisconsin on August 23 led to the NBA boycott, which spread to Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and professional tennis.
HDA called on the NHL to suspend its schedule, which it did for two days.