Some NHL fans across the US and Canada are posting photos of themselves kneeling after players from various teams did not kneel during the national anthem of exhibition games that took place throughout the week.
Rather than kneeling, players stood during the national anthem. The NHL has also released a statement to announce the #WeSkateFor Initiative, something that NHL says will show "hono[u]r for community heroes, front-line and healthcare workers, and racial justice activists through various local and national programs and activities, including charitable donation drives, social media campaigns."
Players will also be wearing #WeSkateForEquality helmet decals this season, to show support with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The lack of kneeling garnered attention in right wing circles. Other sports leagues have normalized kneeling.
One key difference between the NHL and other leagues, though, is that 42 percent of the league is Canadian. Only 24 percent of the league is American, with the other 36 percent of the league hailing from various European countries, with the exception of one Kazakhstani player—Dallas Stars goalie Anton Khudobin.