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After playing scheduled Stanley Cup Playoff games on Wednesday night while every other major sports league in the United States had some or all of their games postponed as a protest in the wake of the recent police brutality incidents, the NHL called off its Thursday games. 

The New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers game in the Toronto bubble, as well as the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks matchup in the Edmonton bubble, will not be played, according to ESPN.

Earlier on Thursday, the Hockey Diversity Alliance formally requested that the league suspended all playoff games. San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane tweeted that the group feels it would send “a clear message that human rights take priority over sports.”

According to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, the league didn’t expect to cancel games unless the players took a strong stance, which they did through a conversation with The Hockey Diversity Alliance. The executive committee of The Hockey Diversity Alliance is made up of Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Trevor Daley, Buffalo Sabres forward Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers forward Chris Stewart, retired forward Joel Ward, and Kane. The group’s goal is ” to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey.”

Following the NHL’s decision to play Wednesday’s game, Dumba spoke out and said that he was disappointed in the league’s efforts.

“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 in interview with Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 on Wednesday.

“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.”

The NHL chose to play their scheduled games on Wednesday hours after NBA players chose to sit out their games. In total, the NBA, MLS, MLB and WNBA all canceled some or all games as a result of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

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