San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane and retired forward Akim Aliu will serve as co-chairs of a new Hockey Diversity Alliance aimed at making hockey a more inclusive sport.

In a statement released Monday, a group of seven past and present players of color said the group's mission is "to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey."

Along with Kane and Aliu, the HDA's executive committee includes Detroit Red Wings defenseman Trevor Daley, Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, Buffalo Sabres forward Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers forward Chris Stewart and retired forward Joel Ward.

"We will strive to be a force for positive change not only within our game of hockey, but also within society," read a statement from the group. "Although we will be independent of the NHL, we are hopeful that we will work productively with the league to accomplish these important changes."

Their objectives include promoting diversity at all levels of the game through community outreach, engagement with youth and education about the "racism issues confronting the sport."

The HDA plans to launch a charitable division in the coming weeks.

"We are confident we can inspire a new generation of hockey players and fans," read the statement. "We are hopeful that anyone who puts on skates or sits in the stands will do so without worrying about race, gender or socioeconomic background and will be able to express their culture, identity, values, and personality without fear of retribution."

--Field Level Media

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