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Here’s Michael at the foul line, the shot on Ehlo.. GOOD! THE BULLS WIN IT! THEY WIN IT! 

 In honor of the 26th anniversary of “the shot”, relive one of the greatest moments in NBA postseason history as Michael Jordan hangs in the air to knock down this classic series-winning shot over Craig Ehlo during the 1992 NBA Playoffs! [x]

NHL players, and hockey fans in general, are overwhelmingly complicit in regards to hockey’s relationship with white supremacy.

Last night at the ESPYs, four of the NBA’s most prominent players (including LeBron James, an arguable candidate for the best NBA player of all time) gave a stirring, well-composed speech on police brutality in America and the specific manner in which, to quote directly, “black and brown bodies” are targeted by police. 

This shows a deep understanding of the issue, one that understands the manner in which white supremacy brutalizes bodies deemed to be outside of whiteness, and the way in which police power relies upon this very brutalization at a basic level. From their inception, police have been specifically used not to protect, but to maintain an order of law with the threat of violence or incarceration. 

The NHL, the whitest of the Big Four sports, has not seen any appreciable discussion of police brutality, or even of any issues with racism beyond incredibly shallow gestures towards a supposed progress. When a talented player like Joshua Ho-Sang is sent home from camp for oversleeping and the response loudly condemns him, when a player like PK Subban is traded in a lopsided deal for a player of the same caliber but older and on a worse contract, when Wayne Simmonds is loudly condemned but other players are excused for far more dangerous conduct, when the hockey media runs articles attempting to describe Auston Matthews in a manner that will allow the mostly white fans of the Maple Leafs to see him as not only Canadian but more specifically a white Canadian, it should be easy to tell the sport has a problem with race. 

Both specific examples like these, and far more nebulous examples such as the manner in which many NHL fans discuss the NBA with dogwhistles and coded language, contribute to an image of the sport as unwelcoming and moreover unwelcoming by design. While programs such as the You Can Play Project have made admirable strides, this progress is not an excuse for the racism of the league.

Hockey absolutely has a problem with whiteness, with white supremacy, and that much should be rather clear from engaging with hockey fans for any appreciable amount of time.

And this is not simply relegated to the fans, but to the players themselves. As Stars players offer condolences to the Dallas PD, their silence on police brutality as well as other events such as the Pulse Nightclub shooting is incredibly apparent. That the most memorable examples of players mentioning police brutality are poorly thought-out tweets from Tom Sestito and Bobby Ryan complaining about protestors and insisting neutrality while implicitly protecting police from critique says quite a bit about how players feel. Considering the incredibly deeply embedded cultures of white supremacy in both America and Canada, it should come as no surprise that the league is so deeply white in every sense, but that it is unsurprising is not an excuse.

Hockey fans must begin to openly, loudly, and relentlessly critique the whiteness of the sport, must talk about the manner in which its whiteness is preserved through structures of racism deeply in North American society, and to challenge the overwhelming silence of NHL players on matters of racial justice in America.