Not One Player Kneels for National Anthem at NHL Games
Every single player stands, show ‘unity supporting equality’ in different way
Not a single player "took the knee" for Black Lives Matter during the national anthem at three different NHL exhibition games played this week.
The Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins bucked the trends in other professional sports and all stood for the anthem on Tuesday.
“The Penguins and Flyers, two of the fiercest rivals in sports, united in solidarity this afternoon, to stand up against social injustice, racism, and hate,” the Penguins said in a post.
“The teams stood as one across each club’s respective blue lines prior to today’s game.”
The Penguins and Flyers, two of the fiercest rivals in sports, united in solidarity this afternoon, to stand up against social injustice, racism, and hate.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) July 28, 2020
The teams stood as one across each club’s respective blue lines prior to today’s game. pic.twitter.com/HPi36959Ns
The players had decided to make a stand against racism in their own way without submitting to the radical-left BLM organization.
During an exhibition game between the New York Islanders and New York Rangers in Toronto Wednesday, all players and coaches stood as the Canadian and Americans national anthems played before the game started, according to The Daily Wire.
Players and coaches STANDING in solidarity for the national anthem🇺🇸👍🏻😊hockey rules🥅🏒🏒 pic.twitter.com/aIrby8QZlD— Michele (@Ponie333) July 30, 2020
The following day, Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators players stood during the national, as well.
Instead of taking a knee, players locked arms before the exhibition game “as a show of unity supporting equality,” Dallas News reported.
Captioning a photo of players locking arms, the official Twitter account for the Stars posted, “Bigger than hockey.
"We stand together for equality.”
Kneeling during the national anthem began back in 2016 when then-San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest what he described as systemic police brutality against black Americans.
“You’ve seen all the other teams do it,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn, referring to players linking arms.
“We had some chats with Nashville and talked with [captain] Roman Josi.
"We thought it would be good to mix it up, link arms.
"We stand for equality and I think it’s important we keep talking about it and keep improving it.”
According to Dallas News, “Benn and Stars forward Ty Dellandrea also wore hoodies to their postgame interview that read ‘#WeSkateFor Equality,’ part of the league’s initiative that allows teams to choose a cause that they skate for.
"Players can individually choose a cause for the league’s #ISkateFor campaign.”
As part of the #ISkateFor campaign, reported Matthew DeFranks, players can choose from slogans that range from honoring frontline essential workers to promoting social justice.
This is part of the NHL's initiative during these playoffs that will be featured in arena and on helmets, Steve Mayer said in a presentation last week. pic.twitter.com/HuP5SKjlYe— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) July 31, 2020
In the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died following an arrest where an officer held his knee on the 46-year-old’s neck for several minutes, the kneeling protests have picked up steam across other professional sports, such as the MLB, NBA, and the WNBA.
The kneeling has been tied to the Black Lives Matter movement.
On Thursday night, every player, coach, and referee in attendance at Utah Jazz v New Orleans Pelicans NBA game took a knee during the national anthem, players wore “Black Lives Matter” warmup shirts, and the court said “Black Lives Matter” in large black letters.
Every player, coach and ref takes a knee during the national anthem before the Pelicans-Jazz game pic.twitter.com/LZy1A6s8VM— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 30, 2020
In the “What We Believe” section of the official Black Lives Matter website, the organization calls for the “national defunding of police,” for the “disruption” of the nuclear family, and to “dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.”