Wild’s Mathew Dumba makes anti-racism speech, kneels ahead of Blackhawks vs. Oilers

Matt Dumba, 26, took to center ice to speak on behalf of fellow members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance

Minnesota Wild defenceman Mathew Dumba has become the first National Hockey League player to kneel during the U.S. national anthem.

As thousands took to their couches to watch the unprecedented return to hockey Saturday, the National Hockey League took the moments before Edmonton’s first game of the NHL restart to acknowledge the Black Lives Matter movement.

Dumba, 26, took to center ice to speak on behalf of fellow members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance on systemic racism.

“During this pandemic, something unexpected but long overdue occurred,” he said. “The world woke up to the existence of systemic racism and how deeply rooted it is within our society.”

He went onto say that the alliance, as well as the NHL, want kids to “feel safe, comfortable and free-minded every time they enter an arena,” vowing to fight against injustice.

“I hope that this inspires a new generation of hockey players and hockey fans,” he said. “Black Lives Matter. Breonna Taylor’s life matters.

“Hockey is a great game but it could be a whole lot greater, and it starts with all of us.”

Following his speech, Dumba kneeled for the Star Spangled Banner as Chicago Blackhawks goalie Malcolm Subban and Edmonton Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse could be seen with one of their hands on his shoulders.

Michael Buble sang ‘O Canada’ on a video recorded at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena. Dumba stood for that anthem.

Dumba, born in Regina, Sask., played for the Red Deer Rebels in the Western Hockey League from 2009 to 2012, before being drafted by the Wild.

Fellow Wild right winger J.T. Brown was the first to protest during the U.S. anthem while signed to Tampa Bay Lightning when he raised his fist in 2017 – roughly a year after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem at a preseason game.

Edmonton and Chicago will also be playing on Monday.

LISTEN: Who’s ready for a little NHL action in August?


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

NHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Coombs Candy Walk will not be held this year due to COVID-19. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Popular Coombs Candy Walk cancelled for 2020

Organizers promise ‘out of this world’ Halloween for 2021

(BLACK PRESS FILE PHOTO)
Nanaimo man killed in Highway 4 crash

RCMP say dirt bike turned ‘suddenly’ into traffic

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a woman who allegedly threw hot coffee on a McDonald’s employee. (News Bulletin photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP still looking for woman who threw coffee at worker after already receiving refund

Police asking for information in investigation that could lead to assault charges

Our Home on 8th, the Port Alberni Shelter that opened in March 2019, has 27 extra ‘extreme weather’ spaces for people who need a place to get out of the cold. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BC VOTES 2020: Mid-Island candidate plans occupation of shelter to protest homelessness

Graham Hughes says homeless situation a ‘crisis’ in Port Alberni

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter. Photo supplied
Wanted man from Calgary may be on Vancouver Island

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

The Cowichan Steelheads’ Jesus Martinez (left) and the Cowichan 49ers’ Daryl Rodgers chase down the ball during Saturday night’s all-Cowichan clash at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan masters derby takes unexpected turn with broken leg

Soccer community comes together in midst of battle

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Most Read