(Photo credit: AJ Favorito)

‘Celebrating Black Excellence and Joy in Hockey’ Program Launches

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Just after Martin Luther King Jr. Day last month, The Carnegie Initiative, a new platform that addresses and unifies diversity and inclusion in hockey, held a full day symposium to discuss solutions for issues plaguing the sport and how the game could grow.

The widely attended event, both in person and via Livestream, was followed by another milestone hockey event- the retiring of Willie O’Ree’s number 22 by the Boston Bruins, sixty years to the day he broke the color barrier in the NHL.

The Carnegie Initiative, named after hockey trailblazer Herb Carnegie and co-founded by his daughter Bernice and entrepreneur/former NHL executive Bryant McBride, has a deep affection and understanding of hockey and impressed all those in attendance. That included NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who was in attendance. Bettman expressed his commitment to the initiatives through funding additional league support.

But the positivity generated was clouded by two separate incidents less than a week later.

The first involved Jordan Subban, brother of NHL star P.K. Subban, of the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays in which an opposing player appeared to taunt Subban by mimicking a monkey.

The second involved the AHL’s Boko Imana, where an opposing plan targeted him with a racial slur.

The response to the pair of incidents was swift and decisive, and there has been an outpouring of support and unity for both players in the time since.

McBride, who has been one of the most proactive leaders for change and inclusion and positivity in hockey, came up with another idea.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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