BOSTON, Massachusetts — The National Hockey League (NHL) is set to resume its 2020 season on August 1 after suspending the season in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A lot has changed since March; the world has remained in the grip of the pandemic, which has shaken not only the world of professional sports but the fabric of life itself. On top of concerns of the continued spread of COVID-19, sports leagues are facing the national spotlight for how they will address the social justice movement. A big part of that—whether players will choose to kneel for the National Anthem, an act that has come to symbolize injustice protest.
Boston Bruins players shared their plan on Tuesday. In a statement on social media, the players said they plan to lock arms during the playing of the U.S. and Canadian anthems “as a sign of solidarity with the Black community.”
“This action is solely intended to be a positive sign of support for the Black community, and a way for us to use our platform to help end racism,” the players wrote in the post.
Other teams and players have also made their support for the Black Lives Matter movement clear. Fellow Boston team the Red Sox hung up a giant Black Lives Matter mural outside Fenway Park last week. Baseball players have kneeled at home opener games across the country since the season began last Thursday night.
In a similar statement, Black Lives Matter is painted on NBA courts this season, and according to the Los Angeles Times, players are planning to kneel during the national anthem on opening nights of the restarted season at Disney World.
President Donald Trump, however, has made his stance on the matter very clear. In a Tweet, Trump said, “any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!”
The Bruins' season will open at home on Sunday, August 2 against the Philadelphia Flyers.