Late Sunday night, as protests across the country died down, the NHL released a statement which called for racial justice and said the league stands with those working towards a racially just society.
Protests were sparked after the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis. Police stopped Floyd for passing a counterfeit $20 bill, but officer Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee to Floyd’s neck for 11 minutes. Cell phone video at the scene showed Floyd to be non-responsive for the final three minutes.
Floyd was later pronounced dead. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Three additional Minneapolis officers who watched the event have been fired.
Protests became riots in many cities across the country when violent activists interspersed with peaceful protestors used what U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr termed “ANTIFA-like” tactics in many cities to incite violence, including Pittsburgh.
On Saturday, during the violence, Pittsburgh Penguins President David Morehouse, with peaceful protestors, was credited with saving a KDKA photographer who was attacked.
The NHL Statement released by NHL PR:
“As protests in both the United States and Canada in recent days have focused attention upon racial injustice for the Black community, the NHL stands with all those who are working to achieve a racially just society, and against all those who perpetuate and uphold racism, hatred, bigotry, and violence.
We share the sentiments expressed by our players and Clubs in their calls for justice, and we encourage everyone to use their platforms and privilege for systemic change. In our own sport, we will continue to do better and work diligently toward culture change throughout hockey and endeavor to be mindful of our own shortcomings in this process.”