Zdeno Chara, who was among NHL leaders to announce that the league would not play games on Thursday and Friday, also had a statement of his own on the topic of athletes using their platform to create social change.
The 43-year-old Bruins defenseman joined Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, Islanders captain Anders Lee, and Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk at the Thursday night press conference to show solidarity amongst the players.
Seated next to Shattenkirk, his playoff opponent, Chara explained that the cause ultimately unites the league, and athletes across sports.
“It’s just the fact that you are having these open conversations,” Chara told reporters. “You are battling on the ice for moving on in the round and competing for the Stanley Cup. But off the ice, we all recognize we are in the same boat and we are, obviously, united and we support the stand that other major leagues did.”
For Chara, who has been an active supporter of Black Lives Matter, the impact in raising awareness about racial injustice by choosing to not play was a simple choice.
“Obviously, we thought it was the right thing for us to do to take a stand and I think it’s just a conversation,” said Chara. “You can see that from years back, this could be very challenging to accomplish something like this.
“These days, we have this platform and with this platform and technology, communications are much faster,” Chara added, “you can get the message out there much quicker.”
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