It’s no secret that Uncle Gary (Bettman) is not one to make waves. To his credit, he is one of the most responsive commissioners in all of sports. This is why it’s time for the league, the owners, and the commissioner to take a signal from across the pond, and do more than just put out public relations pieces or boost the message of prominent figures in the world. While this would be an unusually public stance from the NHL, this would go beyond a video or Instagram post.
The unity this would present would go a long way, while hockey is not the glue of the United States this step would help the country by embracing it in a time of need.
It is time to follow the English Premier League and its teams and speak up. While hockey is known for players just talking about the game or praising their teammates’ hard work, it’s time for the league to show “hockey is for everyone” by backing a portion of their population.
While the return to play is still asking questions, it is time for the NHL to reaffirm what we hear from players “it is about the crest on the front, not the name on the back” so take players names off the back and follow the premier league in supporting the cause.
If that’s too bold a move, just add a patch like above. EPL teams went back to having players’ names after the first weekend of the restart, but still recognises that it needs to stand up.
Every player has their own political stance, they are human just like the rest of humankind. While players might not know-how, or might not want to take a stand the league can not be left behind in these times of the country moving forward together.