Hockey Diversity Alliance releases powerful, unrelenting video for #TapeOutHate campaign

·3 min read

The Hockey Diversity Alliance in conjunction with Budweiser Canada released a powerful two-minute video spotlighting the racial abuse that Black and other players of color often encounter at all levels of the sport.

It is a clear, unrelenting look at the visceral racism that members of the HDA have faced at all levels of their careers. The uncensored video, which features founding members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance including Akim Aliu, Matt Dumba, Wayne Simmonds, Nazem Kadri and Anthony Duclair, shows the slurs and racial abuse these players have faced in detail and also spotlights #TapeOutHate, a campaign built around hockey tape with messaging to eradicate racism from the sport. For every roll of tape sold, one dollar goes to the HDA.

“Why would you ever want your kid to experience something like that?” Dumba said in the video. “Would you put them in hockey? It's completely different when you're a white player. People still don't understand that.

​​"The biggest thing we want to do is spark a conversation. It's a rallying cry. We know we can't do this on our own. We need our allies behind us, and that's the white community supporting us," Aliu said to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. "We want to share our experiences and come together as one, no matter race or gender. We want this game to reach its full potential."

Members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance include (from left to right) Anthony Duclair, Matt Dumba, Wayne Simmonds, Nazem Kadri and Akim Aliu. (Budweiser Canada/Hockey Diversity Alliance).
Members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance include (from left to right) Anthony Duclair, Matt Dumba, Wayne Simmonds, Nazem Kadri and Akim Aliu. (Budweiser Canada/Hockey Diversity Alliance).

The NHL nor the NHLPA are involved with the campaign, despite the league presenting a statement of affirmation Saturday morning. In October 2020, the HDA severed ties with the NHL over their belief that the league had shown no indication of making a tangible commitment to anti-racism initiatives.

Aliu called out the NHL once again for their inaction and unwillingness to meet the clear demands set forth by the HDA.

Via ESPN:

"The first call we made as an alliance was to [NHL commissioner] Gary [Bettman] and [executive vice president] Kim Davis to try to find a way to work together. That never came to fruition," Aliu said. "But look how quickly they linked up with Sheldon Kennedy and his group. There's always an excuse as for why they don't want to work with a group like ours."

The league responded to the video release Saturday morning, via theScore’s John Matisz:

"The NHL applauds our partner Budweiser and the Hockey Diversity Alliance for their efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity in the sport of hockey. This ongoing movement requires vision and commitment from every stakeholder in hockey. We welcome all who are using their voices and platforms to pursue these important goals and remain determined to continue to use ours and to do the work necessary to create real change."

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