NHL Postpones 2020 Playoff Games Amid Player Strikes in NBA, More Sports

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2020, file photo, fans pose below the NHL league logo at a display outside Falcon Stadium before an NHL Stadium Series outdoor hockey game between the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche, at Air Force Academy, Colo. The uncertainty raised by coronavirus pandemic leads to experts providing a bleak short-term assessment on the NHL's financial bottom line, with some projecting revenues being cut by almost half. What's unclear is how large the impact might be until it can be determined when fans can resume attending games and if the league is able to complete this season. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The NHL postponed Thursday's and Friday's playoff games amid ongoing player strikes in several sports that began Wednesday in protest of police brutality and discrimination against Black people, per a league announcement Thursday afternoon:

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

Statement from the National Hockey League Players’ Association and National Hockey League. https://t.co/uV1F5iDeUS https://t.co/JS2t0MvUij

The NBA's Milwaukee Bucks began what became a multisport protest Wednesday by refusing to take the court for their game against the Orlando Magic. The NBA postponed the two other games scheduled for Wednesday and three others slated for Thursday. The WNBA, MLS, tennis and certain MLB teams followed suit Wednesday and Thursday.

The NHL played its games as scheduled Wednesday but took some criticism for not sitting out in solidarity. San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane released a statement on behalf of the Hockey Diversity Alliance calling on the NHL to postpone Thursday's games.

"We strongly feel this sends a clear message that human rights take priority over sports," Kane tweeted.

The Hockey Diversity Alliance was founded in June amid a push for diversity in the sport, which is mostly white and has had several issues with discrimination against Black players. Kane co-heads the Alliance with former NHL player Akim Aliu.

Rick Westhead of TSN reported the Alliance has made several other requests of the NHL, including the use of arenas for polling stations for November's election and the commitment of $100 million over 10 years to fight systemic racism. The NHL has yet to make any of those commitments.