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Hockey community unites against discrimination

June 5, 2020

As an organisation that has core values of equality, inclusion and diversity at its very heart, FIH associates itself with the hockey community – athletes, officials and National Associations  – in their condemnation of discrimination and support to the black community in the wake of recent events in the USA.

Within hockey, as with any other sport, FIH acknowledges there are still steps to be taken to wipe out racism, xenophobia, misogyny and homophobia, but these are steps the organisation is committed to taking. And the solidarity and support shown to the black community by our own hockey community are testimony to that commitment.

The KNHB was one of many organisations and individuals from the global hockey world to post its support for the black community on Instagram.

Belgium captain Thomas Briels and Hockeyroo Karri McMahon were just two of many athletes who posted a simple black image on their Instagram account with the hashtag #BlackOutTuesday. Argentina superstar Luciana Aymar added her support with the simple message “Respeto #BlackLivesMatter.

On Twitter, German national women’s captain Janne Muller-Wieland posted a graphic that demonstrated the path from inequality through to equity and justice; and USA Field Hockey took to social media to post a strong and evocative message, ending with the words: “We all must be part of the change.”

And on Instagram, the South Africa U21 men's side sent out a strong message: "There is a double crisis happening across the world right now of health and injustice. Working together in unity is the only way to eliminate both of these pandemics...We as a squad are blessed to have many races that make up our team and more importantly our family."

FIH President Dr Narinda Dhruv Batra, said: “Sometimes it takes a tragedy to make us stop and evaluate our own values. That is exactly what has happened over the past few days. I am proud of all our members – individuals and national associations – across the global hockey community who continue to reinforce the core values of FIH – inclusion, diversity and respect. We absolutely recognise that there are still areas of discrimination that must be addressed but if we, as an international federation, continue to cherish, nurture and embrace our core values then we can play our role in making a difference.”

Olympian and co-chair of the Athlete’s Committee Rogier Hofman, added: “I want to echo the comments of many hockey athletes in supporting the black community. As athletes we see our differences as our greatest strength. We must respect our team mates and opponents for all that they are. Hockey can do more to address inclusivity and equality and we, as athletes, must play a key role in this”.

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