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Blashill, Daley touch upon sports protests, are recitent to comment on ‘hypotheticals’

After today's morning skate, the Red Wings were asked about the political controversies that are engulfing the sports world presently, and they quite frankly didn't want to get into specifics to incite more controversy, as noted by the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...

“I love this country, I’m extremely proud to be an American,” Blashill said. “I coach the Detroit Red Wings, so for me, right now, I’m focused 100 percent on hockey and if things arise I have to answer, I’ll answer at that time. But I’m not answering hypotheticals, things outside of the hockey range.”

There has been little, to no, reaction within the NHL to the controversy surrounding the NFL and NBA regarding athletes taking a knee when the anthem is played, bring to light social and racial injustice.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins announced Sunday they will visit the White House to celebrate their victory — unlike the Golden State Warriors in the NBA.

Blashill said he wasn’t focused on what was happening Sunday around the NFL other than the Lions’ crushing loss where a potential winning TD was overruled on replay.

Hockey been considered the most conservative of sports, focusing more on the “team” rather than individual views or opinions.

“For me, I can’t answer that,” Blashill said. “I don’t know. I don’t know how it affects the political landscape. I know that hockey, I’m not comparing, I haven’t been around other sports. I know hockey players know that you win only as a team. I know that for sure. Other than that, I couldn’t say.”

The Free Press's Helene St. James...

[Trevor] Daley, one of the rare black players in the NHL, said he hadn’t “really paid enough attention on it to comment” on the controversy astir in the sports world regarding taking a knee during the national anthem.

“Everybody is entitled to their own voice,” Daley said. “It is just something I never really got into, that politics stuff. I like to play hockey. I am good at that. I try to stick to what I am good at.”


Daley didn’t sound eager to be part of the Penguins' second White House visit, if the schedule even allowed it. He stressed he would first discuss it with the Red Wings.

“I’ve already been, so I don’t know if it would mean that much this time," he said. "I am on a different team now.”

As for Penguins players going, Daley pointed out in hockey, “We do what we are told. It’s part of doing it if you win the Stanley Cup. It was amazing experience.”

Daley is going to the Penguins’ ring ceremony Monday.

And DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:

[Daley] does realize that hockey has an issue with diversity and he would like to see more black players, but he is encouraged when he looks at hockey's next generation of players; he sees a more diverse collection of athletes.

When Daley was asked what he would say to black hockey fans, especially in Detroit, a predominantly black city, about the Penguins choosing to go to the White House, his answer was honest and heartfelt.

"I feel that hockey players, we do what we're told a lot and yeah, if the team wants us to do something, we're going to do it regardless of what your faiths are," Daley said. "When you win a Stanley Cup, I guess part of winning the Cup is to go visit the White House, regardless of who's there that you like or you dislike.

"There's a whole part of going into the White House that's pretty cool. We got to do it last year. It was an amazing experience, going to the White House and just seeing the everyday activities that go on there. It was a pretty cool experience just to say you went to the White House.

"As a champion, part of being a champion is you go to the White House. I think that's a tradition around the league in sports. I think that's why those guys (the Penguins) decided to go. I've already been, so I don't know if it would mean that much this time. To go and leave my team, to have a day away from them - I'm on a different team now. It's kind of like a different situation.

"I'm going to the ring ceremony in a couple of days. This year, I'm just going to do the ring thing. If it did work out (his schedule allowing him to go to the White House), I don't know. I would have to discuss it with the Red Wings first and then go from there."

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SnarkinLarkin's avatar

Another reason I love Hockey.

Ever notice that the NBA doesn’t get criticized for its lack of diversity? I’m so sick of identity politics. Let the best players play. If that means they are all black or Chinese or (gasp) white, then so be it. I tune into sports and entertainment to get away from this kind of crap.

Unity > Diversity

Posted by SnarkinLarkin on 09/26/17 at 07:56 PM ET


I’m so sick of identity politics.

huh? then why post?

Ever notice that the NBA doesn’t get criticized for its lack of diversity?

Unity doesn’t just happen.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 09/27/17 at 12:07 AM ET

SnarkinLarkin's avatar

Unity doesn’t just happen.

Posted by howeandhowe

So true. But I don’t see how pitting one group against another and telling everyone they are victims of another group helps bring us together. As American’s the flag and national anthem should be one thing that unites us.

I try to avoid injecting politics into sports comments, but since this post was about the protests I couldn’t help point out how much I appreciate (so far) that the NHL hasn’t degraded into protesting national anthems.

That’s all I’m going to say on the matter. Carry on.

Posted by SnarkinLarkin on 09/27/17 at 12:33 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.