The NHL postponed two Stanley Cup playoff games that were scheduled on Thursday, and two games scheduled for Friday. League officials drew wide criticism for their initial mild reaction to current social justice issues, which prompted teams in the NBA and WNBA to refuse to play their playoff games on Wednesday and also led several MLS and Major League Baseball teams to decline to play in protest of racial injustice.
The NHL’s postponements involved the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders, and the Vegas Golden Knights had been scheduled to face the Vancouver Canucks. Friday’s postponements involvdc Game 4 of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s series against the Boston Bruins, and Game 4 of the Colorado Avalanche’s series against the Dallas Stars.
A statement issued jointly by the NHL and the NHL Players’ Assn. read: “After much discussion, NHL Players believe that the best course of action would be to take a step back and not play tonight’s and tomorrow’s games as scheduled. The NHL supports the Players’ decision and will reschedule those four games beginning Saturday and adjust the remainder of the Second Round schedule accordingly. 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. The NHLPA and NHL are committed to working to foster more inclusive and welcoming environments within our arenas, offices and beyond.”
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