Silver Seven took a few days off regular NHL coverage in solidarity with the strikes happening around the sports world, so the LNN has been pushed back a few days. Today, we’re back with Links, News and Notes about the conversation that’s been happening in hockey over the last few days.
- I’m not going to rehash everything that’s happened since Wednesday, but if you’re still unsure why athletes are on strike right now, or why it’s important, I’d recommend checking out this article, or this Twitter thread, or this more recent piece about the role of the NBA in American politics.
- A few points I do want to stress regarding the importance of the NBA strike:
- Sports are a distraction, and NBA athletes are saying that they do not want to be used as a distraction from the murder of Black people.
- We, as sports fans, benefit enormously from the labour of Black people, and if we want to continue to enjoy sports, we need to stand up for Black people in all situations.
- NBA players have an enormous platform, and this is them using that platform for good.
- Let’s not forget that the WNBA has been the frontrunner when it comes to activism!
- While it did take them a while, NHL players did eventually join the strike, with all of Thursday’s and Friday’s games being postponed and the players releasing a powerful and well thought-out statement that you can check out here. Several teams, including the Sens, have since released statements in support of Black Lives Matter and the strikes. I’m frankly shocked that NHL players actually had the guts to do this, and think this does show genuine growth on their part.
- However, I do want to stress that the NHL was the last sports league to go on strike, and their decision to go forward with their games on Wednesday was indefensible. I recommend checking out this USA Today article, or this piece from Hockey in Society, for a more detailed explanation of the harm done by this decision.
- I know I’ve always been very critical of the NHL and a lot of it does come off as me piling on the league and looking for ways to criticize it, so I want to make this very clear: the fact that NHL players went on strike and made a well thought-out statement about it is a very good thing and honestly does give me hope for the future of the sport. It is, however, not something the NHL deserves praise for. The decision was made by individual players, not by the league as a whole, and it was made too late. The way I see it, this is a neutral thing. The league avoided doing something truly awful, but I’m not going to fall over myself congratulating them for what little they did end up doing. This piece from Chris Watkins does a good job of articulating the conflicting feelings a lot of people have about this situation.
- Sens forward Anthony Duclair appeared on the CBC podcast Seat at the Table to talk about racism in hockey. The whole episode is a really good listen, and I’ve already started making my way through other episodes.
- Check out this incredible Sportsnet piece on Blake Bolden and the importance of listening to Black women in hockey
- As we all engage in discussion about racism in hockey and turn to the most marginalized members of our community for guidance, I think it’s important that we all think about the emotional toll this has on BIPOC - and specifically BIWOC - in hockey spaces. Jashvina Shah wrote about this in a medium post that I would highly recommend checking out.
- She’s4Sports recently hosted a webinar on Diversity in Leadership, which talks about steps sports leaders can take to build a culture of inclusion in hockey. You can watch the whole thing here:
- Another podcast episode to listen to: Hardev Lad and Avry of the Avry and Brad Sports show went on the Let’s Do That Hockey podcast to talk about Logan Couture and the NBA boycott. There was also a really good discussion about hockey’s team-first mentality and the way hockey players are taught to be hockey players first and human beings second.
- Hey, did you know that there’s a book called “Loving Sports When They Don’t Love You Back” by Jessica Luther and Kavitha Davidson coming out on September 1st? You can pre-order it now, and I would highly recommend checking out this podcast episode in which the authors talk about some of the ethical dilemmas faced by minority sports fans. I am extremely excited about this book and I hope some Silver Seven readers will pick it up as well! (Also, like, no pressure, but pre-order numbers are important to authors and publishers because they affect bestseller lists and also inform retailers of how many books they should order, so I would recommend pre-ordering it to support the authors!)
I’ll end this with a few more links for anyone who wants to learn more: