Devils and Prudential Center to Recognize Juneteenth

According to a post on Facebook put out by the Devils at about 5 PM today, the organization will be closing the offices of both the club and the Prudential Center tomorrow, Friday, June 19, in recognition of Juneteenth.

Juneteenth is an unofficial American holiday (except in Texas where it is an official state holiday), celebrating the official emancipation of the last slaves in the Confederacy following the American Civil War.

On June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas proclaiming slaves in Texas to be free. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had actually freed all slaves almost three years before, due to Texas’ remote location at the time, enforcement of the Proclamation was difficult for Union forces.

Celebrations of the holiday go back to 1866 and are usually celebrated in most major cities nationwide today.

The Devils and Prudential Center are recognizing it as a permanent company holiday in order for players and staff “to reflect, learn and celebrate Juneteenth as we collectively work toward racial equality.”

There is currently a movement among citizens to get the holiday recognized as a federal holiday in the United States at large.

PK Subban to Contribute to Fund for George Floyd’s Daughter

Devils defenseman PK Subban is donating $50,000 to a fund for the daughter of George Floyd according to an article on the NHL’s official app posted on Wednesday.

Subban said that he contacted Commissioner Gary Bettman, “who told him the League would match the donation.”

Floyd’s daughter, six-year-old Gianna, has had a GoFundMe page set up for her after her father was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25. Subban is contributing the money to her there.

Subban said in a Twitter video: “The narrative has been the same. No justice. There needs to be justice. Justice has to happen. Change needs to come. But we need everyone. We need everyone and all people to look at our lives and see where we can help that change and do our part … I am committed to that through and through.”

Subban, it should be noted, does a lot of charity work, including his Blue Line Buddies program which pairs a Newark-area police officer with a child from the officer’s city to see a Devils game in person together at the Prudential Center. He has been active in trying to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the children in the cities that the officers serve since his days with Nashville.

The article on the NHL’s app finished by mentioning other players who are looking to get more involved in fighting racism. Blake Wheeler of the Winnipeg Jets, “who grew up 20 minutes from Minneapolis” discussed wishing he was “more involved sooner than [he] was.” He said “I wish that it didn’t take me this long to get behind it in a meaningful way. But I guess what you can do is try to be better going forward.”

Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and San Jose’s Evander Kane have represented the NHL in helping “to call for an end to racial injustice” according to the article.