I love hockey and I adore the Pittsburgh Penguins. I have supported them from my first foray into this amazing sport and enjoyed watching them being celebrated back-to-back as the best hockey team in the world. What I appreciate about this team, in addition to their talent and play, is a shared charitable character that each of the players seems to have in their professional and personal lives. Unfortunately, this past week, my team let me down. In the middle of a feud between Donald Trump and the sports world–one that began because of peaceful protests against police violence–the Penguins announced that they plan to visit the White House.
This time honored tradition of a championship team visiting the White House has lasted through multiple administrations and is something teams look forward to every year. This year, though, amidst Trump calling for football players who take a knee during anthems to be fired, amidst Trump calling those who peacefully protest the deaths of black Americans at the hands of violent police officers “sons of bitches”, the Penguins, my Penguins, announced not only the fact that they will be visiting the White House on October 10, but that they have no opinion on the recent protests or politics in general and strive to remain a neutral party.
I truly believe that in times of injustice, neutrality doesn’t exist. By remaining silent on the issues reverberating across, not only the sports community but all of America, the Penguins are disregarding the voices of their peers and fans, while willfully ignoring the messages those voices carry.
I encourage you to join a postcard campaign (image below), sign the petition linked here and let the Penguins organization know that you disagree with their decision to stand behind Trump for the photo ops or political propaganda that will undoubtedly come out of this experience. The Penguins cannot remain ignorant of the impact that this decision has on fans of color, female fans, Muslim fans, LGBTQ fans, immigrant fans, differently abled fans and those who are in real danger because of the policies put forth by Trump. Instead, I hope my boys will stand with countless fans of hockey and prove that the phrase “hockey is for everyone” isn’t just about a slogan and rainbow t-shirts. I hope the Penguins and the NHL will put words into action and advocate for the rights of hockey fans all over America and the world. Otherwise, I don’t think I can support a team that doesn’t support me.
Double click on the image, save, then print, write, slap a stamp on it, and stick the card in the old snail mail before October 10.