Hockey fans are taking a knee for Black lives after the NHL didn't (PHOTOS)

Jul 31 2020, 10:35 pm

The NHL returned to the ice this week, with exhibition games in the hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton.

Played without fans in attendance, the games drew much larger audiences on television than the usual preseason tilt — no surprise given hockey-starved fans haven’t seen live games since March.

Prior to each game teams organized in various ways, to show support for frontline workers and to combat racism, during the national anthems. Usually, this involved teams intermixing, and in some cases, interlocking arms, to show that they’re together for the various causes.

What they didn’t do was kneel for the anthem — a sign of solidarity against anti-Black racism and police brutality — which has become commonplace in the NBA, MLB, and MLS returns to play.

The NHL did announce plans for more acts of support when the playoffs begin this weekend.

“The world has changed significantly in the four months since the NHL played its last game,” NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer said. “We therefore will raise awareness for the NHL’s support for the Black community while also celebrating the incredible individuals who have worked tirelessly to ensure positive health for those affected by COVID-19. While we will miss having the fans in the arena, we will use Opening Day and future NHL games to bring people together to celebrate our common humanity.”

But at the same time, when Eric Trump applauds the way you tried to raise awareness, you may have missed the mark.

So hockey fans have taken matters into their own hands. Fans from all over the league, on both sides of the border, have begun posting photos of themselves kneeling to social media.

The hashtag is #kneel4hockey and it’s been picking up steam thanks to the Black Girl Hockey Club on Twitter.

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