Davis’ Inclusion Efforts Receive the Governing of the NHL Board of Governors | The Canadian News

Kim Davis knows the long list of challenges and problems the NHL has faced in the past two seasons.

Mental health. Substance abuse. Racism. The gruesome details of the sexual violence Chicago Blackhawks prospect Kyle Beach suffered more than a decade ago.

The reckoning has been real.

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Davis, the league’s executive vice president for social impact, growth initiatives and legislative affairs, received the go-ahead from the board of governors Thursday for her office’s efforts on safety, inclusion and respect.

Kim Davis, NHL Executive Vice President for Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs, discusses the Learn, Play, Score initiative ahead of an NHL hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, March 18. February 2020, in Detroit.


“We all understand that there is a need, both as a business and as a moral imperative, to accelerate our efforts,” he told reporters at a press conference after his presentation to the board.

“That’s what this program and initiative is about.”

READ MORE: NHL Players Association to Launch Independent Review of Kyle Beach Battery Allegations

Davis made four key points: prevention, complaint, advice and responsibility, and also announced a new compact with Sheldon Kennedy Respect Group.

“Sheldon has been an incredible partner so far on this journey,” Davis said.

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Kennedy, who dressed for part of eight NHL seasons, has been a leading voice for victims of sexual abuse following his own experience of being abused by then-coach Graham James for five years during his time as a junior hockey player. .

“It’s going to have to all of us pulling the rope together to achieve our goals,” Kennedy tweeted Thursday. Thank you (Kyle Beach) and others for your voice. I am confident that the NHL will take a leadership role for the ENTIRE hockey ecosystem. “

READ MORE: Kennedy Says Chicago Blackhawks Scandal Is An Example Of How The ‘Systemic Response’ Must Change

The 52-year-old is not in the board’s first face-to-face meeting since 2019, but Davis said his organization will be tasked with creating a 90-minute training program for all league and club employees.

He added that Kennedy told him he’s impressed with what the NHL has been working on.

“It is fascinating to have a conversation with someone who has been a practitioner in the area where I have been a practitioner for 40 years,” Davis said at the elegant Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. “For him to listen to the work we’ve already had in place and for him to say, ‘My God, who would say that you guys have been working on an amazing platform?’

“That was encouraging.”

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The league has faced some tough questions in the past two years about the culture of the sport, including recent revelations about the Blackhawks.

An investigation by a third party by an independent law firm found that a group of team leaders met to discuss Beach’s allegations on May 23, 2010, hours after Chicago advanced to the Stanley Cup final for the first time. once in 19 years.

The firm’s report said there was no evidence of anything being done about the allegations after the meeting until then-team president John McDonough contacted the Blackhawks director of human resources on June 14 once. Chicago won the title, a delay that violated the organization’s sexual harassment. politics.

“We’re sorry it happened,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman reiterated Thursday before adding: “We have used this moment as an opportunity to see where we are and what we can do better.”

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The hope is that the four pillars outlined will be adopted by the NHL Players Association and various other leagues and organizations.

Davis, who added that the league will partner with hiring startup Jopwell in hopes of building a more diverse workforce, said his priority right now is prevention.

“It’s important for us to go back and really establish a uniform baseline of understanding around the common issues that we’re talking about when it comes to respect,” he explained. “So there is no ambiguity about what we mean and what we stand for.

“That baseline will then form the launch pad so that we can continue to build on all practices.”

READ MORE: NHL hopes to improve its lack of diversity decades after the color barrier was broken

Davis also knows that the job will likely never be complete.

“Efforts to change never end because the world is constantly changing,” he said. “What we have to do is be prepared to constantly iterate, constantly pivot, operate in ambiguity and, despite what is happening, keep moving forward.

“The most important part of this is being realistic about the efforts that are required to make the change and ensuring that those efforts are not effective.”

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Postponed questions

Reporters had many questions about the Olympics and the Arizona Coyotes’ outstanding debts to the city of Glendale, which has threatened to shut the club out of the Gila River Arena later this month if its debts are not paid, but Bettman indicated that those issues will be resolved. will be discussed on Friday.

READ MORE: The main Beijing Olympics agenda at the NHL board of governors meeting in Florida

“No problem,” the Coyotes commissioner said. “But we’ll take care of that tomorrow.”

COVID-19 Concerns

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly provided an update on the impact of COVID-19, revealing in media availability after the meeting that 19 of the league’s 32 teams have been forced to use “enhanced measures” at different points, in short, going back to last season. protocols – due to positive cases.

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The Ottawa Senators had three games postponed due to an outbreak, while the New York Islanders had two shelved.

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Daly said any improvement protocol this season would be up to the league and NHLPA medical experts.

Board approves sale of penguins

The board voted unanimously to approve Fenway Sports Group’s purchase of a majority stake in the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Financial details of the sale have not been released, but sporting business website Sportico valued the penguins at $ 845 million last month.

Penguins great Mario Lemieux and co-owner Ron Burkle will remain part of the franchise ownership group as part of the deal.

FSG, which owns Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox and English Premier League’s Liverpool, had been looking to add another major sports franchise to its portfolio.

“They see a great future for us,” Bettman said. “That is why they are making the investment.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press


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