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Colin Kaepernick providing ‘invaluable’ advice to Hockey Diversity Alliance

A coalition recently formed by current and former NHL players of color has been receiving “invaluable” advice from Colin Kaepernick, according to San Jose Sharks star Evander Kane.

Kaepernick provided counsel to the group on a recent call, Kane revealed Tuesday.

“He’s been the leader of this whole movement from when he first took a knee (during the national anthem),” Kane said of Kaepernick on a conference call with reporters, per Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area. “It was great to be able to talk to him, and for all of us to really talk to him. He shared some of his experiences, ups and downs, that he went through. It was great to get some advice on things we could maybe avoid that he wasn’t able to because he was the first one to do it.”

The Hockey Diversity Alliance, an entity independent of the NHL, was co-founded by Kane and former NHL player Akim Aliu, who said former Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters directed racist slurs at him in the AHL during the 2009-10 season.

Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba — who admitted the conversation with the Kaepernick left everyone on the call starstruck — Philadelphia Flyers winger Chris Stewart, former NHLer Joel Ward, Detroit Red Wings defenseman Trevor Daley and Buffalo Sabres forward Wayne Simmonds are among the members of its executive committee.

The Hockey Diversity Alliance’s mission statement includes the goal to ¬†“eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey.”

The fact that Kaepernick — who many believe was the victim of a colluded effort by NFL owners to keep him out of the league due to his activism and protests during the national anthem — is giving guidance to the HDA cannot be overemphasized. It is expected that the former NFL star can provide the HDA critical insight into how the coalition can most effectively spread its message and achieve its stated goals.