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NHL cancels​ Thursday's playoff games as a stand against racial injustice: Report


The NHL faced criticism after other sports leagues postponed games.

Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

NHL players have forced the league to cancel Thursday night's Stanley Cup playoff games, according to several reports.

The National Hockey League received criticism after they played playoff games on Wednesday. The NBA, MLB, MLS, and WNBA postponed some or all games on Wednesday following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The NHL will reportedly postpone Thursday's playoff games after the Hockey Diversity Alliance requested that the league suspend all playoff games. The Hockey Diversity Alliance, which was created in June, has a mission of "eradicating systemic racism and intolerance in hockey."

"Earlier today, the HDA formally requested that Commissioner Bettman and the NHL suspend all playoff games today to allow players and fans to reflect on what happened and to send a message that human rights must take priority over sport," the Hockey Diversity Alliance said in a statement.

San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane and Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba outlined the plan to cancel Thursday's game by calling more than 100 players who were in the playoff cities of Toronto and Edmonton, according to TSN hockey analyst Pierre Lebrun.

"The PLAYERS took a stand today, they stepped up," Kane tweeted. "Proud of my fellow nhl PLAYERS for their action."

"The NHL is always late to the party, especially on these topics, so it's sorta sad and disheartening for me and other members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, and I'm sure other guys across the league," Dumba said on Wednesday during an interview with Vancouver's Sportsnet 650. "But if no one stands up and does anything, it's the same thing — it's just that silence that you're just outside looking in on actually being leaders and invoking real change when you have such an opportunity to do so."

"We should not stay silent towards systemic racism and any racial inequalities in our society," said Ottawa Senators forward Anthony Duclair.

There are two Game 3's scheduled for Thursday: the Philadelphia Flyers versus the New York Islanders and the Vancouver Canucks against Vegas Golden Knights.

The Tampa Bay Lightning joined the Boston Bruins for a "moment of reflection" in respect to Jacob Blake on Wednesday.

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