The NHL, its teams and NHL Players' Association announced a number of initiatives on Thursday to take action in support of anti-racism and to “broaden access to the game” in the professional hockey league.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman pledged the announced plans as "part of the genuine movement for change" while praising NHL players for "recognizing the importance of this movement."
One of the main plans of action is the NHL and NHLPA will work in partnership with the recently formed Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA), founded by nine players of color who are active or former NHLers.
The group will establish a hockey development program to provide mentorship and skills growth for BIPOC boys and girls in the greater Toronto area.
The NHL, NHLPA, and HDA have agreed to start a similar pilot program in a U.S. region to be determined.
Also, the NHL intends to encourage and inform hockey fans about their right to vote by assisting its teams across the U.S. and Canada to promote active citizenship and provide team venues as polling places this fall for the election.
Several teams, including the Chicago Blackhawks, have already announced voter education and activation plans.
Another program the NHL will implement is mandatory inclusion and diversity training for all NHL players and NHLPA staff members during training camp and the first part of the 2020-21 season.
Players will employees will participate in an inclusive learning experience, conducted by White Men as Full Diversity Partners (WMFDP), focusing on anti-racism, unconscious bias, dimensions of identity, microaggressions, and cultural competency.
With what is going around the world in regards to what to say and do with social injustice and police brutality, having the NBA lead the charge to start it off, to the NHL doing their best to make a difference in one way of sending the message that there needs to be changed in the world today.
It is one step closer to what we can do as a society to try and make this world a better place.