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NHL players join other athletes in decision to strike

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There will be no hockey today or tomorrow.

Chicago Blackhawks v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Yesterday, players in the NBA, MLB, NWBA, and MLS made the decision not to play in response to Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by Kenosha, WI police. Not every team in those leagues did, but it was a powerful moment of athletes of various sports saying enough is enough.

Things happened differently in the NHL. The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning had a moment of silence before the game while nothing happened before the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks game.

People took notice. Fans and members of the media voiced their displeasure on social media. More importantly the players were angry.

Today the next step was taken. Early reports were that the recently created the Hockey Diversity Alliance was speaking with players about the possibility of not playing for the next two days.

Long before the puck was set to drop for the games there were reports that the games would not be played. It was made official when the Hockey Diversity Alliance released the following statement.

For the first time since 1992 games will not move forward because of a player strike.

It is important to remember that this wouldn’t be happening without the players. The athletes of the Hockey Diversity Alliance deserve special recognition for organizing this response.

And while we didn’t see anything from the NHL yesterday, the players in the Edmonton bubble stood together to make their statement.

With NHL players on board, others released statements. The NWHLPA, NHL Coaches Association, and numerous teams released statements of their own.

During the middle of the playoffs, many players looked around and realized they weren’t doing enough. For the second time since the postseason began the NHL was a step behind other leagues and people in not addressing the issues of systemic racism.

Nobody knows what will happen next. The league and the players have said they are listening and learning, but as yesterday and today showed many fans want more.