Minnesota Wild player Matt Dumba, a Canadian, became the first player in the National Hockey League (NHL) to kneel for the National Anthem on Saturday. However, what was even more disturbing is that he knelt for "The Star-Spangled Banned," but then stood for the Canadian anthem, "O, Canada."
During that time, the scoreboard also displayed the message: "We Skate for Black Lives."
“During this pandemic, something unexpected, but long overdue, occurred,” Dumba said. “The world woke up to the existence of systematic [sic] racism and how deeply rooted it is within our society.”
He added, “Racism is everywhere, and we need to fight against it.”
As he knelt, Blackhawks goalie Malcolm Subban and Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse each put a hand on his shoulders.
The league tweeted out its approval from the official NHL Twitter account.
Just a few days before, the New York Islanders and New York Rangers had stood together for the national anthem prior to an exhibition match, drawing praise from many fans — and criticism from those who wanted the league to join other professional sports that have supported the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
The majority of active NHL players are not from the United States; a plurality are Canadian.
The game marked the kickoff of the modified 2020 NHL playoffs after the season was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Chicago won, 6-4.
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