Take a Knee: The NHL and Fan Response to Black Lives Matter

Hockey is back. As of today, all 24 teams participating in the qualifier and round robin games have played an official, yes it counts, hockey game. During the week leading up to the official restart of NHL hockey, teams participated in “exhibition” style games. Many fans wondered how, if at all, the league and the players would acknowledge the Black Lives Matter movement. After watching players walk into training camp practices in Black Lives Matter t-shirts, there was some hope for more robust support for the movement once the games were underway. Specifically, fans were hopeful that some players would take a knee or raise a fist during the anthems, as this is the most universally recognized physical demonstration of support for BLM.
Unsurprisingly, those fans were disappointed, as the only acknowledgement most teams gave at all was to stand “together” on the blue line, or in a circle. 

Stronger Together. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/JU199kGChr
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 29, 2020

The Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the few teams to use the words Black Lives Matter in their tweet, but the actual “demonstration” was the same across the league: the …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

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