Hockey Diversity Alliance calls on NHL to implement change, sign pledge

The NHL’s players shut down the league on Thursday and Friday as boycotts took over the sports world following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wis. 

Playing a key role in the NHL’s action were members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, who on Thursday afternoon “formally requested that Commissioner [sic] Bettman and the NHL suspend all playoff games today to allow players and fans to reflect on what happened and to send a message that human rights must take priority over sport.”

Created last June by current and former NHL players who are BIPOC, the HDA was formed to eradicate systemic racism and intolerance in hockey. On July 14, the alliance sent the NHL a pledge for it to sign and a list of actionable items.

The NHL has not yet signed the pledge. On Saturday, the HDA released an eight-point plan highlighting what it asked of the league, including:

  1. The NHL and its teams would work to increase the employment of Black executives, Black hockey-related personnel and Black non-hockey related personnel.
  2. Ensure that at least 10 percent of the league’s procurement expenditure is from Black suppliers before the start of the next season.
  3. The HDA selects 50 percent of the members of the Executive Inclusion Committee (or any successor thereof).
  4. Mandatory anti-racism and unconscious-bias education for all employees before the start of the 2020-21 season.
  5. Creation of HDA-approved zero-tolerance policies and sanctions.
  6. Zero-tolerance support of any organization that “has engaged in, promoted or failed to appropriately respond to racist conduct in their organization of any kind.”
  7. Transparency regarding these actions with the HDA.
  8. Commit to funding the HDA to help “support social justice initiatives,” build grassroots hockey development programs from BIPOC and create training for all minor hockey leagues in North America.

These actions can also be found in the following Twitter thread from the HDA:

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