IT BEGINS: The 1st NHL Player Announces His Plan To Protest Our Anthem

Looks like the Contagion is spreading… and trying to infect Hockey, too.

Maybe they will handle it better than the OTHER leagues have.

*see update to story, below*

There aren’t a lot of Black players in the NHL.

But there are a couple of reasons for that.

For one, unlike Football, NHL hockey draws prospects from all over the world. USA and Canada — obviously — but also Sweden, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and a smattering from countries that are far lesser hockey powers.

So, naturally, there is an international flavor to the game. Which makes the respect these teams have for both National Anthems (USA & Canada) that much more special.

The current champions — the Pittsburg Penguins — have a Canadian Captain. And they are planning to ‘respect the office of the President’ ANYWAY. Hockey fans — by and large — tend to be fiercely patriotic, and, by extension, respectful of traditions.

There have been a few occasions where even CANADIAN fans in CANADIAN stadiums would — if something happened to the microphone — stand and SING even the AMERICAN anthem loud and proud.

And that’s what makes this Particular story such a gut-punch.

Like our favorite Green Beret,Bryan Sikes, this particular Clash editor is a lifelong NHL fan.

And if you think the NFL is taking a beating over the anthem, just WAIT and see what will happen if the NHL mishandles THIS story.

One player from the San Jose Sharks might be about to ruin a good thing.

Ward had said he was considering a protest to raise awareness to the issues of racial inequality and excessive force by police against minorities in the United States. But he said Thursday that he doesn’t want the focus to be on the anthem and wants to work on bringing minorities and law enforcement together. – See CBC for full story, here
*end update*

Ward is the son of Barbadian immigrants who moved to Toronto, Canada. He said that he first experienced racial animus as a young boy when he started playing hockey.

“I had no clue what the words meant until my parents educated me about what was going on in my surroundings. I was just a kid who fell in love with the game and picked up a hockey stick. I didn’t really look at it as color,” he said. “As I got older and looked across the locker rooms and dressings rooms, I realized I’m the only black kid in the whole arena. –Federalist

Uh… if racial diversity is somehow more important than putting together the best team you can, what changes, if any, would you suggest need to be made in this photo?

Judging by the rings they are all wearing… probably NONE, right? Even though it doesn’t come even CLOSE to representing national demographics. Exaclty.

Maybe the other kids that looked like him were drawn to different sports… baseball, basketball football and the like. The same guy later went on to claim he had received ‘death threats’.

Seeing the frenzy that broke out that one time some idiot threw a banana on the ice during a game, call us skeptical about death threats.

If this guy is dumb enough to politicize hockey, the backlash will be swift and certain.

And if management LETS this contagion catch on? The whole league will be screwed.

Fans won’t stomach it. They’re still trying to gain a following in the States as it is. Misplaying this could be a FATAL error for the league.

Typical of unions, the Player’s Association is already supporting the protests in principle.

In an email sent to players by executive director Donald Fehr, the NHLPA stated that any players who would like to participate in peaceful protests of their own “would of course have the full support of the NHLPA in regard to his right to do so.” — Sportsnet

Whether the slapdown the fans have been giving the NFL will make them think twice about it remains to be seen.

No word yet from the League itself.

Share if you hope the NHL will take a stand.

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