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Saturday’s Dump & Chase: Holding Pattern

Links for the day after the second day of the NHL’s playoff pause to draw attention to racial injustice.

2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - Edmonton - Press Conference Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Nashville Predators News & Notes

The Nashville Predators have joined 28 other active NHL teams and the Seattle Kraken in making a statement about recent events.

Other News & Notes

Player-driven postponement an awakening for historically conformist NHL | Sportsnet.ca
"If [Reaves] sat out, he wondered if he would be the only one – and how would that look? Instead, 200 players walked out with him, and none will play again until Saturday as all eight teams left in the Stanley Cup tournament will postpone one game."

It is time for more | The Ice Garden
Michelle looks at the steps women's hockey can and should take, learning from the NHL's successes and missteps.

Joel Ward: Player-led postponement a good opportunity for hockey to step up | Sportsnet.ca
"“Hopefully we can kind of solidify a solid partnership,” Ward said of working with the NHL. “We’re just trying to help our game grow, and that’s what we’re all about … We’re just here to make hockey a safe place for all of our kids growing up.”"

Why Sports As Escapism Is The Very Reason Opting Not To Play Gets Attention For Racial Injustice | Defending Big D
So much is political that the idea of trying to keep politics out of sports is almost impossible.

Even setting aside how many sports stadiums are partially or entirely funded and built in cooperation with city governments--or disasters like the Calgary Flames' attempt to interfere with a mayoral election because of that--, athletes live in society just like the rest of us, and almost every aspect of society is either inherently political (anything requiring city/county/state/federal resources to be allocated to it), or has been politicized (whether mail should be delivered, whether businesses should close during a pandemic, whether it's okay that Black Americans are much more in danger of getting killed by law enforcement officers than white Americans are).

This piece from Taylor at Defending Big D looks at what the stoppage accomplished and what more could and can be done.

Canucks proving themselves as leaders in NHL's call for racial justice | Sportsnet.ca
Sportsnet says it's "Despite their youthful roster", but I think some of it is because of their youthful roster--the players the Canucks look to and rely on are from a generation that has a better understanding of how interconnected every part of our lives are, instead of from a generation that grew up hearing "stick to sports" and has had that reinforced for years at the highest level.

NHL players use pause to focus on racial injustice concerns | ProHockeyTalk | NBC Sports
Seeing NHL players refuse to answer questions about hockey is not something I would have believed could happen even just a few years ago.

Racism and the slow uptake of the NHL | Raw Charge
"Why did it take so long for the NHL to get here?"

How players pushed the game aside to take a stand against systemic racism | Sportsnet.ca
As Brad Marchand (yes, that Brad Marchand!) said, “Sports, it’s a luxury. It’s a luxury to watch this game, to play this game. But when it becomes about people’s safety and people’s lives and people feeling comfortable to be in their own skin, it’s much more important than that. I understand people want to watch the games and I understand people want to see this, but it’s too bad.”

And, in the only hockey news to come out over the pause:

NHL investigating Dale Tallon for alleged racist comments | ProHockeyTalk | NBC Sports
The Panthers’ statement at the time they made the decision not to keep Tallon was about his incompetence as a GM, not the alleged incident in the playoff bubble.

EXCLUSIVE: Dale Tallon says he never used racist language | Florida Hockey Now
The (unspecified) remark is alleged to have been made in response to Matt Dumba's speech for the Hockey Diversity Alliance on August 1. Tallon says that he didn't make the remark, would not have made the remark, and adds—and this is a direct quote—"I didn't know Dumba was Black [...] I did not know he was of color."

Whatever Tallon did or did not say after Dumba's speech, telling everyone now that in his defense he hadn’t known Dumba isn't white anyway is not an ideal look.