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Minnesota Wild's Matt Dumba: It's 'Disheartening' NHL Played Games Wednesday

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba (24) in the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

At least one NHL player was upset by the league's decision to go ahead with Wednesday's playoff games amid other sporting events being postponed as athletes fight for justice in the wake of Jacob Blake's shooting in Wisconsin on Sunday.

Speaking to Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver, Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba called the league's response "disheartening" and stressed the need for powerful voices to stand up:

Sportsnet 650 @Sportsnet650

"You can't keep coming to minority players every time there's a situation like this... the silence is as bad as the violence" Matt Dumba joined #TheProgram @AndrewWalker650 @SatiarShah to speak on today's protests in sports. SOUND ON 🔊 Full Interview: https://t.co/f5mWlYTF8c https://t.co/2jDBqvseof

Per ESPN's Greg Wyshynski, the NHL held a "moment of reflection" prior to Game 3 of the series between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, which included a message from the arena's public address announcer:

"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 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."

Evander Kane of the San Jose Sharks tweeted about the league's "lack of action and acknowledgement" after the playoff games took place:

Evander Kane @evanderkane_9

Actually it’s incredibly insulting as a black man in hockey the lack of action and acknowledgement from the @nhl, just straight up insulting. https://t.co/1KrpUvFhaQ

Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins told reporters afterward the team didn't have time to discuss whether or not to play:

"After our pregame meal, we took naps and then we were on the bus, so I don't think any of us were watching the TV until we got to the rink. And at that point, obviously, it was too close to the game to start any discussions or try to move the games to different dates. We were basically following the schedule the NHL provided to us."

Dumba's comments came in the wake of all three NBA playoff games scheduled on Wednesday being postponed after Milwaukee Bucks players refused to take to the court against the Orlando Magic.

The three WNBA games scheduled for Wednesday night were also postponed when players collectively decided to sit out.

In Major League Baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners vs. San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants were postponed as players for those teams voted not to play.

Dumba is a member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, a group formed by NHL players in June with a mission to make the sport more inclusive and to "eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey."

Per Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press (h/t the Denver Post), NHL players are "discussing options to protest racial injustice" in the aftermath of Wednesday's actions from players in other sports.

Thursday's playoff schedule comprises the Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Islanders in the East and Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks in the West.

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