WARD SAYS HE WON’T KNEEL
San Jose Sharks forward Joel Ward said Thursday that he will not kneel during the national anthem, rationalizing that he wants to focus on “moving progress forward” outside the hockey arena. Ward, a Canadian and one of about 20 black players in the NHL, tweeted a thorough message explaining his reasoning. He said: “Although I fully support those who before me have taken the lead in bringing awareness to these issues, I will not kneel during the national anthem like my brothers have done. Let our collective focus be on bridging the gap between communities — on working to heal generations of unequal treatment of people of color in the United States of America — and not turning our backs on that which is hard to face head on.” Until Ward, no NHL player had discussed publicly that he might take a knee dur- ing the anthem. Ward had the support of his coach and the entire Sharks organization.