If you've been living under a rock for the past 48 hours, we've got some big news for you. The NBA and the NHL are shut down. And no, it's not due to COVID-19.
Both leagues have effectively gone dark in a form of silent protest against the shooting of Jacob Blake at the hands of police officers in Kenosha, WI this past weekend. More to the point, both the NBA and the NHL are protesting against police brutality and racial injustice in the United States in the aftermath of what happened in Kenosa. The NBA's Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the floor for their game yesterday against the Orlando Magic and so many other NBA teams followed suit that the league was forced to cancel games last night and tomorrow.
The NHL awkwardly forged on, albeit with some lip service and their frankly useless slogan of "End Racism." Today though, the NHL players took a stand and forced the league to shut down for this evening and tomorrow. NHL insider Darren Dreger of TSN was the first to report that tomorrow's games will also be affected and his colleague Pierre LeBrun intimated that the reasons for a two day protest was so that all eight remaining Stanley Cup Playoff teams will have a chance to observe the protest.
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Interestingly enough, it appears as though the NHL's youngest playoff team, the Vancouver Canucks, were the driving force behind today's and tomorrow's walkout. Larry Brooks of The New York Post reports that the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders were leaning towards playing this evening's game, until the Canucks convinced them otherwise.
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Interesting. It's fascinating to me that the lone Canadian team left in these playoffs was the one to step up and take action. To be fair, there's no NHL team in Milwaukee like there is in the NBA and the MLB to take direction from, but who'd have guessed that a Canadian team full of young players would be the one to carry the torch for the rest of the league? Color me surprised.