Matt Dumba kneels, NHL puts focus on Black Lives Matter

This is Nazem Kadri’s moment – Avs forward at the center of push for change

Then Dumba knelt, becoming the first NHL player to call attention to racial injustice and the mistreatment of Black people during the US national anthem.

Social justice has been a theme in sports restarts.

"I know first-hand as a minority playing the great game of hockey the unexplainable and hard challenges that come with it", Dumba said. Needless to say, the NHL is trying to reform itself while also making hockey a sport that is inclusive for everyone, regardless of race.

"I know first-hand, as a minority playing of the great game of hockey, the unexplainable and hard challenges that come with it", Dumba said Saturday. "The Hockey Diversity Alliance and the NHL want kids to feel safe, comfortable and free-minded every time the enter an arena". "We will fight against injustice and fight for what is right".

Dumba was the only one to kneel for the anthem, as two black players in Malcolm Subban of the Blackhawks and Darnell Nurse of the Oilers put their hands on his shoulders.

As the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes took the ice at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena for the first game since March 11 there was little evidence that the NHL was part of the Black Lives Matter movement that has swept global sport from England's Premier League to NASCAR. "Hockey is a great game, but it can be a whole lot greater...and it starts with all of us".

In the exhibition phase of the league's restart, the NHL took deserved heat for lumping support of Black Lives Matter into the #WeSkateFor campaign.


On social media, National Hockey League players voiced their support for Dumba. "And that starts with all of us". He was flanked by Chicago goalie Malcolm Subban and Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse.

Dumba is a grad of the Crowchild Minor Hockey Association - now the Northwest Warriors - and the Northwest Calgary Athletic Association's AAA programs.

Dumba wore a "Hockey Diversity Alliance" shirt for the ceremony, which also paid tribute to front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're super proud, as a group, of Matt and what he did", Aliu said.

"I think everyone in the league stands with those guys", Colorado forward Matt Nieto said.

Dumba and the Wild will be in action Sunday for Game 1 of their best-of-five play-in series against the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference bubble in Edmonton.

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