The Boston Bruins joined the majority of NHL teams in releasing a statement on Tuesday concerning the brutal murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman, and the ensuing unrest of protests, riots and calls for necessary change to our American society clearly at a crossroads.
The Bruins franchise obviously comes from a place of trailblazing diversity as they were the first NHL team to break the color barrier with Hockey Hall of Famer Willie O'Ree back in 1958.
In recent years, the Black and Gold have had several black players on their NHL rosters including Jarome Iginla, Gemel Smith and first-round pick Malcolm Subban, who shared this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tweet from his account a few days ago.
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But Tuesday's statement wasn't about their own diversity or about anything really concerning the Bruins aside from a statement of recognizing what happened and the path forward that so many us can help forge for a better, more understanding world.
Credit the B's for making an honest, pointed statement that starts with support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and calls out the abhorrent murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis that set off protests all across the world.
Black Lives Matter. Bigotry, ignorance and senseless violence in any and all forms is wrong. We are a hockey club, and sometimes it is hard to know when, where and how to comment on issues that challenge the freedom and well-being of our community. We want to be honest and we want to be accountable and we want to be leaders.
The abhorrent murder of George Floyd and similar events cannot be tolerated. We want to be part of change and we will lead with our actions. That has always started with treating all people with dignity and respect.
Credit players from across the predominantly white NHL too for stepping up and being part of the discussion, as thoughtful words from Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and former Bruins forward Blake Wheeler highlighted a willingness of hockey players to listen, learn and educate themselves to the plight of black people everywhere when it comes to vital tenets of our freedom like equal treatment and blind justice.
Then there's Sharks left winger Evander Kane, who has eloquently and powerfully spoken out as a black NHL player about the work that both society and the NHL itself need to engage in to continue to live up to the credo that "Hockey is For Everyone" while encouraging his fellow NHL players to step up and be vocal.
With statements from the Bruins, Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics along with Celtics players like Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Enes Kanter taking the lead with their activism, the New England Patriots remain the only major Boston sports team that has yet to release a statement on an issue that's been on everyone's mind over the last week.
Bruins make statement leading with the words 'Black Lives Matter' originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston