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Capitals announce equality initiatives in honor of Black History Month originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Washington Capitals’ commitment to racial equality expanded Friday, as the team announced the launch of an initiative to promote equality within the game of hockey, while also paying homage to the achievements of Black individuals. The announcement aligns with the team’s ongoing goal to expand the game of hockey to all communities.Regarding hockey itself, the team formally announced members of the Black Hockey Committee—a coalition initially founded in August with the mission to “address ways to eradicate racism and discuss growing the game in underserved communities,” according to the team's press release.
The main focus of the committee will be to work in conjunction with local teams and coaches on how to properly manage issues pertaining to race, in addition to their pledge to extend the game to different racial communities.
The committee members are: Duante’ Abercrombie, Alexandria Briggs-Blake, Neal Henderson, Tammi Lynch and Corinne McIntosh-Douglas. Each member has achieved personal accolades for their work within the D.C. hockey community.
The team’s pledge to bring hockey to everyone is nothing new, as they have built more than 10 rinks across the DMV over the past two seasons, with construction on two more rinks in progress. Over the past few years, they’ve launched a partnership with DC Public Schools that has introduced more than 48,000 students across 111 schools through a multi-week street-hockey curriculum.
The Capitals also announced initiatives directly tied into Black History Month with the mission to “grow the game and advocate for equality in hockey.” These initiatives include a Black History Night, which will take place on Feb. 25 vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Capitals will be wearing black warmup jerseys with a “Players Against Hate” shoulder patch. These jerseys will be signed and auctioned off following the game, with all proceeds being donated to the Capital Impact Fund.
In addition to Black History Night and other initiatives first announced in August, the Capitals continue to honor Willie O’Ree, the first Black player to play in an NHL game. Through the end of February, the team will wear helmet decals with O’Ree’s likeliness and the phrase “Celebrating Equality,” to admire O’Ree’s breaking of the hockey color barrier in 1958 for the Boston Bruins.
To learn more about the Washington Capitals’ work within the D.C. community on racial justice, go to http://www.washcaps.com/blackhockey.