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NHL's prominent minority players form Hockey Diversity Alliance to 'eradicate racism in hockey'

A group of the NHL’s most prominent minority players announced on Monday that they have formed a group to address and eradicate racism in hockey.

The Hockey Diversity Alliance was formed by Akim Aliu, Evander Kane, Trevor Daley, Matt Dumba, Wayne Simmonds, Chris Stewart, and Joel Ward, and they all took to social media to announce the establishment of their new organization.

The seven current and former players outlined several of their goals in the news release.

“We will promote diversity at all levels of the game through community outreach and engagement with youth and will endeavor to make the game more affordable and accessible. We will also focus on educating the hockey community about the racism issues confronting the sport, while advocating for acceptance and equality. We have partnered with a charitable fiscal sponsor and we will be launching a charitable division in the coming weeks to assist us in achieving our objectives.”

Hockey is overwhelmingly white and has struggled with numerous incidents of racist behavior from players, especially recently. Aliu revealed in 2019 that he’s dealt with racism in hockey for years, and, according to the Wall Street Journal, that’s what originally spurred Aliu and other minority players to discuss forming an organization to fight racism in hockey. The killing of George Floyd while in police custody and the subsequent worldwide protests sped up their timeline, leading to the announcement on Monday.

Aliu and Kane were selected to be the first co-heads of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, and Daley, Dumba, Simmonds, Stewart and Ward are all on the executive committee. The group is independent from the NHL by design, but hopes to work closely with the league to create change within hockey and society.

Akim Aliu, who bravely shared his experiences with racism in hockey in 2019, was chosen as one of the co-heads of the Hockey Diversity Alliance. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

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