NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on social justice protests, COVID-19 safety


CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman talked with NewsNation’s Joe Donlon about current challenges he sees as opportunities and defended how the National Hockey League addressed the social justice protests that temporarily halted all professional sports play following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.

Bettman talked from Edmonton, Canada, site of one of two “bubble cities” instituted by the National Hockey League to keep 150 NHL personnel safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 10 cities initially considered, the commissioner said the league settled on Edmonton and Toronto because at the time, fewer coronavirus cases had been diagnosed in those cities than the other locations.

In the wide-ranging conversation, Bettman told Donlon he never considered canceling the season when the pandemic hit earlier this year. Describing the current conference finals as “extraordinarily competitive,” Bettman expressed optimism around the Stanley Cup finals. The Dallas Stars beat the Vegas Golden Knights in achieving the first finals berth. Either the Tampa Bay Lightning or New York Islanders are battling out which team earns the right to play for the famed Stanley Cup trophy, the prize that Bettman has handed out to the winning team captain every season since 1993.

Watch the full interview in the player above.

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