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The Hockey Diversity Alliance is cutting ties with the NHL. The HDA called the league’s recent equality work “performative” and expressed disappointment with the NHL not being committed to ending “systemic racism in hockey.”

“The HDA is grateful for the support from the public we received. Unfortunately, the support we hoped (to get) from the NHL was not delivered and instead the NHL focused on performative public relations efforts that seemed aimed at quickly moving past important conversations about race needed in the game,” the organization told TSN’s Frank Seravalli. “We have waited many months for a response to the common sense HDA pledge we proposed and it is clear that the NHL is not prepared to make any measurable commitments to end systemic racism in hockey.”

Now that they are distancing themselves from the NHL, the HDA says it will work without the league to try and improve equality in the sport.

“While we are disappointed, the HDA will operate separate and independent of the NHL and authentically implement necessary education programs and changes to the sport and seek to be role models for the youth in Black and Brown communities who want to play hockey,” the HDA said in a statement.

The group was founded back in June and is led by San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane and former NHL player Akim Aliu, who will serve as co-heads of the organization. In addition, Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Trevor Daley, Buffalo Sabres forward Wayne Simmonds, former Philadelphia Flyers forward Chris Stewart and former Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward serve as members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance.

The organization was founded following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a now former police officer in Minnesota in May. 

“In creating our alliance, we are confident we can inspire a new generation of hockey players and fans,” the Alliance said when it was founded. “We are hopeful that anyone who puts on skates or sits in the stands will do so without worrying about race, gender or socioeconomic background (and) will be able to express their culture, identity, values and personality without fear of retribution.”

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