New Campaign From The Hockey Diversity Alliance Aims at Racism Within Hockey

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New Campaign From The Hockey Diversity Alliance Aims at Racism Within Hockey

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Racism in the world, in sports, and in hockey continues to be a significant problem. At all levels of the game, players of color have a vastly different experience within hockey than their white counterparts. That is one of the primary reasons why the Hockey Diversity Alliance has partnered with Budweiser Canada to create a new ad to promote their #TapeOutHate campaign.

The ad, initially conceived by HDA sponsor Budweiser Canada, highlights the slurs that have been used against the HDA’s members, including Nazem Kadri, Wayne Simmonds, Matt DumbaAnthony Duclair, and former NHL players Akim Aliu, Chris Stewart, and Trevor Daley. The ad also features Hall of Famer Angela James and Canadian women’s national team member Sarah Nurse.

A censored 60-second version of the ad, in which the slurs are blurred out, will air Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada.

You can see the full, uncensored ad here (content warning):

Along with the ad, Budweiser Canada will sell rolls of hockey tape with the statement “Racism has no place in hockey #TapeOutHate” printed on them. One dollar from each roll sold will be given to the HDA. They are available in Canada starting on January 22, with expectations that they will be available in the U.S. at a later date.

The ad and the #TapeOurHate campaign are the most significant public work for the HDA since the beginning of the 2020 bubble playoffs when organization members and the HDA logo were featured in the wake of protests following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Before the Oilers and Blackhawks game on August 1, Matt Dumba gave an anti-racism speech, and two days’ worth of games were postponed in protest against systemic racism and police brutality.

From Matt Dumba, talking with The Athletic:

“I just hope this becomes a beacon of hope for kids who are going through it. Because the generation before, we didn’t know where to go and who to talk to. Who was on our side?”

One would think that the NHL and NHLPA would be on the same side as the HDA, but as you see in the ad, none of the current players are wearing their respective NHL team apparel or uniforms. According to members of the HDA, the NHL did not want to be involved in the campaign with the HDA and Budweiser Canada.

From Akim Aliu, talking with ESPN:

Everyone that watches hockey knows there’s a deeply rooted issue. There are incidents that come up often that bring these issues to the forefront. The NHL is a fence-rider. They want to keep their old-school fans happy while dipping their toe in the water and pretending they support diversity when we’re so behind all other sports.

It is expected that in the next few months, the HDA will announce a program that will start with 12 underserved communities in the Toronto area, providing hockey “free of cost” to youth players, including the coats of equipment and ice time, according to ESPN.

There is plenty of work to be done in the fight against racism in the sport of hockey. But the HDA cannot do it alone. As mentioned online from the HDA members and within the ad, they need the people who have not had the same experiences as them within hockey, white players, to also speak out against racism in the game at all levels.

Hopefully, the HDA’s continued work towards greater representation within the culture can provide more outlets to the game for players that otherwise wouldn’t be available or welcoming.

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Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.