Matt Dumba kneels, NHL puts focus on Black Lives Matter

Paola Ditto
Agosto 2, 2020

Racism is a manmade creation and all it does is deteriorate from our collective prosperity. After a short voice over honoring front line health care workers and social justice advocates, Dumba entered the rink in a Hockey Diversity Alliance sweatshirt.

"I know firsthand, as a minority playing the great game of hockey, the unexplainable and hard challenges that come with it", Dumba continued. "We will fight against injustice and fight for what is right". I hope this inspires a new generation of hockey players and hockey fans because Black lives matter. Toronto Maple Leafs alternate captain Morgan Rielly said that the NHL's response to the Black Lives Matter movement is "an ongoing process" but that Dumba's actions impressed him. "Hockey is a great game, but it could be a whole lot greater, and it starts with all of us".

Prior to the start of the match between the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild defenceman Matt Dumba came out and stood at center ice, where he gave a passionate speech about racial inequality and how we must stand up against systemic racism.

Dumba, who was born in Regina and raised in Calgary, is of Filipino descent.

Earlier this week, Avalanche center Nazem Kadri said standing together with Minnesota players prior to an exhibition game was a good sign of solidarity, but he called for more than just gestures.

The Regina native made a speech about social and racial justice prior to Edmonton's first game of the National Hockey League restart - the second overall - before he kneeled for "The Star Spangled Banner".

Supported by the Blackhawks' Malcom Subban and the Oilers' Darnell Nurse, Dumba made National Hockey League history in a powerful, moving moment.

As the opening strains of the American national anthem played, Dumba took a knee.

Dumba attended the game as a lead member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance. Afterward, he received support from around the hockey community. "From a league standpoint, I think we'd maybe like to see a little more acknowledgement and having them address the situation and know that they stand with their players".

"I think what he did was incredibly powerful and I think he should be very proud", said Rielly.

Dumba and the Wild will be in action Sunday for Game 1 of their best-of-five play-in series against the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference bubble in Edmonton.

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