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NHL's diversity drive under fire

By MURRAY GREIG | China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-28 09:12

Akim Aliu doesn't buy into the NHL's slogan that "Hockey is for Everyone".

驻马店股票配资公司"The NHL's title for its annual diversity campaign makes me crack up, because right now hockey is not for everyone," Aliu opines in an essay currently posted on The Players' Tribune.

The 30-year-old minor-league defenseman, who played six games in the Czech Republic last season, was born in Nigeria and raised in Ukraine before his family moved to Canada.

驻马店股票配资公司On March 13, 1948, Larry Kwong, whose parents were born in China, became the first non-Caucasian to play in the NHL when he took a single shift for the New York Rangers against the Montreal Canadiens. Last season, there were fewer than 50 players of color among 700 NHLers.

"The campaign uses the game of hockey-and the NHL's global influence-to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities, but I think the title of the diversity campaign is a little funny," Aliu writes. "It's like putting up a 'mission accomplished' banner before even starting the mission.

驻马店股票配资公司"It's not that the campaign is misguided-I think it has promise. It's just that the road ahead is long, and it will be painful for some… and we are not at the end yet."

Last November, Aliu revealed on social media that head coach Bill Peters had directed racial slurs towards him over the player's taste in music when they were with the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs during the 2009-10 season.

驻马店股票配资公司"I was surrounded by teammates, surrounded by the boys … but completely alone," Aliu writes.

Peters, who went on to coach the Calgary Flames and the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL and steered Team Canada to the gold medal at the 2016 IIHF world championships, resigned from Calgary a week after Aliu alleged the coach "dropped the N-bomb several times" when they were in Rockford.

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