Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney made it clear to the media in a Zoom call that he and the Bruins organization support not only their players but all NHLers present and former having a strong voice on social matters such as the current Black Lives Matter movement.
Last week, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and alternate captain Patrice Bergeron released heartfelt reactions to the George Floyd murder and vowed to make not just others but themselves more aware of the racial injustice around them and in the NHL. When asked about the leadership Chara – who also walked in a Brookline, MA protest – and Bergeron showed as human beings, Sweeney could not have been prouder. He also cited the work of his former Bruins teammate and NHL On NBC analyst Anson Carter as well as former Dallas Stars teammate Trevor Daley who helped form the Hockey Diversity Alliance earlier this week.
“You know I was reading articles this morning on Anson Carter and a couple of the players I played with that getting involved. …you know Trevor Daley having a higher profile. …I applaud each and every player for their individual efforts and support them, they have the complete backing of the Boston Bruins” Sweeney said.
If our players want to be more socially available to comment in that regard and voice their opinions and, in Zdeno Chara’s case, support a protest and march with people, I applaud their efforts. It’s a testament to their leadership, not as hockey players, but as human beings and family men and people that know that they have to listen and allow this to resonate.”
A statement from Zdeno Chara. pic.twitter.com/acqHFfP1My
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) June 6, 2020
Over 100 NHL players have spoken out via social media and in the news and Sweeney reiterated how happy he and the Bruins were to see not just Chara and Bergeron step up but also the NHL community of players.
“From an organizational standpoint and a personal one, I applaud each and every players’ individual efforts in their own lives that’s outside the realm of hockey. They’re human beings and they’re acting very, very well from the standpoint of humanity,” the Bruins GM replied. “I think we both acknowledge the listening aspect of this and the realization that we all can continue to do a much better job of that; to mobilizing our efforts.”
In the latest edition of the Bruins Craic, former NHL goalie, current NHL Netork host and Chara’s former teammate with the Islanders, Kevin Weekes, expressed his gratitude for the Bruins captain, Bergeron and all the players who have spoken up. Weekes has personally experienced the racism that exists in the NHL and the hockey world and was pleasantly stunned by the magnitude of voices being heard across the league.
“By having people like ‘Zee’ [Chara], who I played with, as a well as the great Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Bergeron, these are a few you’re talking about, a few I’ve been in touch with and many more I’ve been in touch with, to hear them advocating and standing strong with us and being unified, as hockey people and hockey players and within the business in different roles, I never thought I’d see the day,” Weekes said.
“It’s amazing! I’m so grateful,” he added.