The NHL returned with exhibition matches in Toronto and Edmonton on Saturday, featuring such teams as the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars. Prior to the matches, the players linked arms and remained standing while the American and Canadian national anthems played. Eric Trump, the son of President Donald Trump, praised the players for standing, but fans expressed very different opinions.
When NHL fans saw that the players did not kneel during the national anthem, they expressed the opinion that the league and its stars "refuse to acknowledge the racism and injustices" in hockey. Many expressed the opinion that the lack of kneeling meant that the NHL doesn't support Black Lives Matter or racial equality. In response to the national anthem, the fans began posting photos of themselves kneeling in their homes and apartments.
Today, we as hockey fans need to #Kneel4Hockey if we really want #HockeyIsForEveryone to be true. I love the sport, but work needs to be done to make the game open, accepting, and available to everyone.July 31, 2020
I kneel because others won’t. I kneel because the NHL has refused to acknowledge the racism and injustices that are so prevalent in hockey culture #Kneel4Hockey #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/jOhW8FxK5r— From Tape to Tape (@fromtapetotape) July 31, 2020
I #Kneel4Hockey because BIPoC and LGBTQ hockey players, coaches, staff members and fans deserve to be seen, heard and included. #BlackLivesMatter #HockeyIsForEveryone #TakeWarning— Chris Moore (@Chris_Moore26) July 31, 2020
i love this sport, and hope someday it actually will be “for everyone.” but we’re not there yet and we won’t get there without a fight. now is the time for @nhl to decide what side of history they’d like to fall on.#Kneel4Hockey #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/yta5r6rfHs— B L M 💖💜💙 pride was a riot (@plscallmesurely) July 31, 2020
As an LGBT hockey fan and someone who stands with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, I have to take a knee. If the NHL won’t kneel, then I will. I urge everyone else to join me! #HockeyIsForEveryone #Kneel4Hockey pic.twitter.com/5R7a07USGp— connor (@connor__hatzi) July 31, 2020