The National Hockey League has postponed two playoff games scheduled for Thursday night, following a push by some players to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.
The decision came after an effort organized by the Hockey Diversity Alliance, a group of NHL players whose purpose is “to eradicate systemic racism and intolerance in hockey,” according to its website. Teams for the National Football League canceled practice on Thursday in the wake of the shooting, and the National Basketball Association has postponed playoff games after players decided to protest.
“The PLAYERS took a stand today, they stepped up. Proud of my fellow nhl PLAYERS for their action,” Evander Kane, a co-founder of the Hockey Diversity Alliance and player for the San Jose Sharks, wrote on Twitter. Earlier in the day, Kane wrote that a postponement would send “a clear message that human rights take priority over sports.”
Jacob Blake, an African American man, was shot by Kenosha police who were attempting to arrest him on a warrant for alleged domestic abuse and third-degree sexual assault.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice has said Blake “admitted that he had a knife in his possession” when he was shot. Blake will likely be paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life, and Kenosha has seen nightly riots since Sunday that have left dozens of businesses destroyed or vandalized.
President Trump weighed in on the NBA’s protests of the shooting on Thursday, chiding the league for becoming politicized.
“I don’t know much about the NBA protests…I know their ratings have been very bad and that’s unfortunate they’ve become like a political organization and that’s not a good thing, for sports or the country,” Trump said.