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Akim Aliu and Evander Kane to serve as co-heads of new Hockey Diversity Alliance

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Five current and former NHLers make up executive committee

Anaheim Ducks v Calgary Flames Photo by Mike Ridewood/Getty Images

Today, Akim Aliu, Evander Kane, Trevor Daley, Matt Dumba, Wayne Simmonds, Chris Stewart, and Joel Ward announced the creation of the Hockey Diversity Alliance. Aliu and Kane will serve as co-heads of the organization while Daley, Dumba, Simmonds, Stewart, and Ward will serve on its executive committee.

The Hockey Diversity Alliance’s mission statement (from its press release shared on social media):

Our mission is to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey. We will strive to be a force for positive change not only within our game of hockey, but also within society. Although we will be independent of the NHL, we are hopeful that we will work productively with the league to accomplish these important changes. We believe in the importance of accountability in developing inclusivity and diversity for all involved in our sport, including fans and the league office.

According to TSN’s Frank Seravalli, members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance spoke with Colin Kaepernick over Zoom in recent weeks. Kaepernick was blacklisted by the NFL for taking a knee during the national anthem while on the San Fransisco 49ers to protest police brutality. Per Seravalli, Kaepernick offered his support and guidance for the newly-formed alliance.

It should be noted that co-heads and the executive committee of the Hockey Diversity Alliance are all men who are either current or former NHL players.

Today’s announcement comes 20 days after Aliu’s feature story for The Players Tribune which sent shockwaves through the hockey community. It also comes in the midst of worldwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality and violence following the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

One can hope that the Hockey Diversity Alliance will be able to make a positive impact on a sport with a damning history of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Now, more than ever, the NHL needs to make greater efforts towards promoting inclusivity and diversity in the hockey community. Needless to say, there is a lot of work to be done.