Players for the Flyers and Penguins stand together in solidarity before their exhibition game. (Image source: NBC Sports video screenshot)
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Setting a different example
Players from the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Dallas Stars, and Nashville Predators all stood to honor the playing of the national anthem in recent games.
Not one single player kneeled.
What are the details?
On Tuesday, players for the Flyers and Penguins stood together in solidarity before their exhibition opener in Toronto.
The respective teams stood together on the blue lines to show solidarity — and the Penguins made sure the message was clear.
In a tweet, the beloved Pittsburgh team wrote, "The Penguins and Flyers, two of the fiercest rivals in sports, united in solidarity this afternoon, to stand up against social injustice, racism, and hate."
"The teams stood as one across each club's respective blue lines prior to today's game," the tweet added.
The tweet has been liked 8,000 times at the time of this reporting.
According to NBC Sports, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said, "A lot has happened since we played our last game. And we felt, both teams, that it was important to show unity given what's gone on and just wanted to be part of the solution moving forward."
The Stars and Predators also linked arms Tuesday afternoon before their exhibition game.
Stars captain Jamie Benn said, "You've seen all the other teams do it. We had some chats with Nashville and talked with [Predators captain] Roman Josi. We thought it would be good to mix it up, link arms. We stand for equality and I think it's important we keep talking about it and keep improving it."
According to The Dallas Morning News, NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer said that the league would host an "opening night that we think will be memorable and powerful as we honor frontline pandemic workers and those who are fighting for social justice."
A new trend on the horizon?
On Tuesday, NBC Sports reported that the Boston Bruins and the Columbus Blue Jackets had the same plans for their game Thursday night. And the two teams did, indeed, gather — arms linked — in a circle.
“Over the past several months we have been trying to educate ourselves and learn more about racial injustice in our country and around the world. As a team we have decided to lock arms during the playing of the United States and Canadian Anthems as a sign of solidarity with the Black community," a spokesperson for the Bruins told the outlet.
“This action is solely intended to be a positive sign of support for the Black community, and a way for us to use our platform to help end racism," the statement concluded.
A spokesperson for the Blue Jackets added, "Our team is joining the Boston Bruins in locking arms as a positive sign of support for the Black community prior to the playing of the National Anthems."
“As a group and as individuals, we have and will continue to listen and learn about racial injustice," the Blue Jackets' statement continued. "Through our platform, we hope to continue the important conversations about equality.
“Racism and prejudice have no place in hockey and no place in society," the Columbus team concluded.
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