BOSTON (CBS) — Wednesday was a momentous day for social justice pushes across the world of professional sports. The Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their playoff game, a move which eventually led to the NBA postponing all of the day’s games. The WNBA did the same, as did Major League Soccer, while three MLB games were not played. All of the day’s events came in an effort to respond in some way to the Jacob Blake incident in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where police shot Blake in the back seven times over the weekend.
While all of that was taking place in the sports world, a mid-afternoon NHL game between the Flyers and Islanders was in progress. With the Bruins and Lightning set to drop the puck at 8 p.m. ET, it was unclear if any protests or boycotts would take place.
The NHL’s decision ended up being an acknowledgement prior to the game. With the words “End Racism” displayed on the video board, the public address announcer at Scotia Bank Arena in Toronto stated the NHL’s commitment to combating racial injustice.
Moment of reflection for Jacob Blake prior to Bruins/Lightning game pic.twitter.com/qkwLN5ueJC
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) August 27, 2020
“Racism has been embedded in our society for far too long. Today and every day, the NHL and the hockey community are committed in the mission to combat racial injustice and achieve a fair society for all,” the announcer said. “The NHL would like to take this moment to wish Jacob Blake and his family well, and call out to our fans and communities to stand up for social justice and the effort to end racism.”
Todd Angilly then performed the American and Canadian national anthems, and the game began as scheduled.