NHL players and coaches continued to make statements against social injustice Wednesday. Before the exhibition game between the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche in Edmonton, members of each team stood side by side solidarity in during the playing of the …

NHL players and coaches continued to make statements against social injustice Wednesday. Before the exhibition game between the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche in Edmonton, members of each team stood side by side solidarity in during the playing of the …

NHL players and coaches continued to make statements against social injustice Wednesday.Before the exhibition game between the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche at Rogers Place in Edmonton, members of each team stood side by side in solidarity during the playing of the Canadian and United States anthems. Jordan Greenway and Matt Dumba of the Wild stood next to Nazem Kadri and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Greenway placed his right hand on Kadri’s shoulder, Kadri did the same to Dumba, who had his hand on Bellemare’s shoulder.   
“Both teams had talked about doing something,” Dumba said. “I think us standing together showing our strength in numbers in this fight against racism and standing up for those, especially in our community in Minnesota, those people who have faced and lived through tragedy this last couple of months and people who are still living in tragedy across the states, to show our strength as two teams coming together — allies in this and that fight in eradicating racism from our sport, it’s awesome.
“Me and Naz have done a lot of work, and we’ve shared that with both of our teams — everything that we’ve been doing. To know that we have allies like our teammates and our organizations behind us was very powerful. To have us four standing up there as four players of color in the game, I hope that showed some strength.”
Tweet from @JTBrown23: Great to see this act of brotherhood ���🏽 @matt_dumba @JGreenway12 @43_Kadri @bellsy78 https://t.co/F1FHwPsj8d
New York Rangers and New York Islanders players and coaches did the same gesture prior to their exhibition game at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Wednesday, and the Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks also did so before their exhibition game in Edmonton.
Tweet from @NHLJets: pic.twitter.com/0rSXBOIDxc
The gestures came a day after members of the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins stood together prior to a 3-2 overtime win by the Flyers at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens did the same thing before Toronto’s 4-2 victory.
“The Penguins and Flyers, two of the fiercest rivals in sports, united in solidarity this afternoon, to stand up against social injustice, racism and hate,” the Flyers and Penguins said in a statement. “The two teams stood as one, merging players from both franchises together across each club’s respective blue lines prior to today’s game.”
Each player stood next to a player from the opposing team, including Penguins captain Sidney Crosby next to Flyers center Sean Couturier, Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist next to Flyers forward Jakub Voracek and Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson next to Flyers captain Claude Giroux. 
“A lot has happened since we played our last game and we felt, both teams, it was important to show unity given what’s gone on and just want to be part of the solution moving forward,” Crosby said. “So that was kind of the thought behind it.”
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan stood next to Flyers coach Alain Vigneault during the anthems.
“I think all we were trying to do tonight, players and coaches, was show our support,” Vigneault said. “That was one small way I thought everybody could do it and show it, and that’s what we did.”
Video: Avalanche, Wild stand in solidarity during anthem
Several NHL players and teams have been vocal and active in their support of social justice, the fight against racism and the Black Lives Matter movement since George Floyd, a Black man, died in the custody of a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, sparking protests across the United States.
“We talked about it before the game, doing something for equality and justice, racism, everything,” Couturier said. “Just respect people, your opponent. We’re a pretty big rival but it still shows the way we have respect for each other, and I think it should be the same in life in general.”
The Columbus Blue Jackets and Boston Bruins each released statements outlining plans to show the same type of support for the fight against social injustice, racism and hate prior to their exhibition game in Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city, Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVAS, FS-O, NESN, NHL.TV).
“After thoughtful conversations, as a group we decided we want to do something to support Black community and this is the platform during the playoffs that we have coming up that we’re going to express our support,” defenseman Zdeno Chara said Wednesday. “We understand there is — still work needs to be done and we are obviously still listening and learning and everybody has to make up the approach in the right way to make the proper change. But that’s how we are feeling about it, how we want to show support.”
Video: Penguins, Flyers unite for social justice
The Blue Jackets echoed that sentiment in their statement.
“On Thursday, our team is joining the Boston Bruins in locking arms as a positive sign of support for the Black community prior to the playing of the National Anthems. As a group and as individuals we have and will continue to listen and learn about racial injustice. Through our platform we hope to continue the important conversations about equality. Racism and prejudice have no place in hockey and no place in society.”
Columbus defenseman Seth Jones said it was an opportunity for the players to show a united front.
“We’re all here, we all care and we’re all trying to make a difference in the world,” Jones said Monday. “Obviously, we’re trying to create a cultural change, not just in hockey but around the world.”
The NHL season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. The Stanley Cup Qualifiers — eight best-of-5 series and two four team round-robins — begin Saturday.
Each of the 24 participating teams will play one exhibition game.
Tweet from @penguins: The Penguins and Flyers, two of the fiercest rivals in sports, united in solidarity this afternoon, to stand up against social injustice, racism, and hate.The teams stood as one across each club���s respective blue lines prior to today���s game. pic.twitter.com/HPi36959Ns

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