BOSTON (CBS) — Back in early June, the Boston Bruins organization sent out a statement to support the Black Lives Matter movement and to say that “bigotry, ignorance and senseless violence in any and all forms is wrong.” Now with their season set to resume in the NHL’s bubble in Toronto, the team announced its plans to carry forth this message on the ice.
The Bruins announced that they’ll be locking arms during the playing of the American and Canadian national anthems during their games this summer, which begin with an exhibition game on Thursday night and a seeding game on Sunday afternoon.
“Over the past several months we have been trying to educate ourselves and learn more about racial injustice in our country and around the world,” the statement from Bruins players began. “As a team we have decided to lock arms during the playing of the United States and Canadian Anthems as a sign of solidarity with the Black community.”
Some players have taken an active role in the fight against racism since the murder of George Floyd thrust the issue into the forefront of American consciousness. While other leagues have involved players kneeling during the anthem or waiting to take the court until the anthem was finished playing, Bruins players have instead opted for a show of solidarity.
“This action is solely intended to be a positive sign of support for the Black community, and a way for us to use our platform to help end racism,” the statement read.
A statement from the Boston Bruins players: pic.twitter.com/Ge10yy8y7q
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 28, 2020
It’s notable that longtime Bruins captain Zdeno Chara participated in a Black Lives Matter protest in Boston earlier this summer, and his voice is no doubt present in that statement issued on behalf of players.
“I stand with the Black community. Black Lives Matter. There is no room in this world for racism. Period,” Chara wrote, back in June. “We have to take better care of each other and respect each other. Equality must be a priority. Anything less is unacceptable. I learned a lot yesterday and had good, honest conversations. Not only did we take steps in a walk but we made strides in learning and educating together. But it doesn’t stop there. I will continue to stand – and walk – with you. I have your back.”