Former NHL forward Akim Aliu made headlines in 2020 when he accused Bill Peters, who was at the time the head coach of the Calgary Flames, of having used racial slurs against him when the two were with the AHL's Rockford Ice Hogs a decade earlier. Peters apologized to the Flames for using "offensive language" and promptly resigned his post.
Aliu also tweeted his support for former Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri last spring, who had been facing death threats and racially-charged attacks on his ethnicity following a collision with St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington that knocked the latter out for the remainder of their series from last season; Kadri would eventually lift the Stanley Cup with the rest of his Avs teammates.
And now, Aliu is weighing in on the controversy that has enveloped the NHL and Philadelphia Flyers in particular earlier this week after defenseman Ivan Provorov declined to wear a rainbow LGBT-themed jersey for his team's warmup prior to facing the Anaheim Ducks. The Flyers and head coach John Tortorella have defended Provorov's actions, while his jersey on NHL.com has already sold out as fans have shown their support for his choice.
But among those not supporting Provorov or the NHL for what he believes is not going far enough in a response is Aliu. In a recent message on social media, he called out Tortorella for what he feels is a double standard stemming from the fiery bench boss's previous assertion that any player not standing for the national anthem wouldn't be playing in that particular game; Tortorella had since reversed his opinion on that matter.
"When Colin Kaepernick takes a knee for social justice,John Tortorella says he will bench any player on his team that does the same. But now, Provorov “did nothing wrong” & as per usual, NHL’s response is 🤷🏽♂️ At least pick a side. Is “Hockey for Everyone” or only when it suits you?"
Aliu's message quickly garnered an array of responses. What's your response to what he wrote?