Wayne Simmonds, Chris Stewart help form Hockey Diversity Alliance


Wayne Simmonds is as tough as they come on the ice. His personification of toughness is a major reason why the city of Philadelphia loves him so much.

Off the ice, he is just as real, just as caring. It was always incredible to see how Simmonds handled himself after a practice whenever the Flyers had a young boy or girl visit the team in the dressing room for a good cause. Simmonds, who is a long and lean 6-foot-2, would always bend over with his hands on his knees, smile and genuinely look the youngster in the eye as they chatted.

"He’s a hell of a guy," Sean Couturier said last October. "He’s a great teammate, great hockey player, but even better person. ... He was the perfect example to look up to."

Having suited up for 909 career games in the NHL, Simmonds is one of the most prominent black players in hockey. In the fight against racism and racial injustice in the United States and North America, as well as within the game of hockey, the former Flyer is helping lead the Hockey Diversity Alliance. Simmonds, along with Chris Stewart, who is in the Flyers' organization, and other pro players Akim Aliu, Evander Kane, Trevor Daley, Matt Dumba and Joel Ward, released the mission of the Hockey Diversity Alliance on Monday.

Per the release, the Hockey Diversity Alliance is independent of the NHL but is hopeful to work productively with the league to spark needed change.

Here is the full release from Simmonds on why and how the Hockey Diversity Alliance plans to accomplish change on these important issues.

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