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Detroit — Trevor Daley is one of seven active and retired NHL players who Monday announced the formation of The Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA), aiming to eliminate racism and intolerance in the sport.

Daley, a Red Wings defenseman who is an unrestricted free agent, is joined by former NHL players Akim Aliu and Joel Ward, and current players Matt Dumba (Minnesota),  Evander Kane (San Jose), Wayne Simmonds (Buffalo) and Chris Stewart (Philadelphia).

“We love our sport. We believe that hockey is the greatest game in the world,” the official press release for the alliance said. “As minorities who play professional hockey, we have come together to create the Hockey Diversity Alliance.

“Our mission is to eradicate racism and intolerance in hockey. We will strive to be a force for positive change not only within our game of hockey, but also within society. Although we will be independent of the NHL, we are hopeful that we will work productively with the league to accomplish these important changes. We believe in the importance of accountability in developing inclusivity and diversity for all involved in our sport, including fans and the league office.”

Aliu and Kane are co-heads of the HAD.

Daley was involved in a highly publicized incident in 2003 while playing junior hockey in Sault Ste. Marie, when team general manager/head coach John Vanbiesbrouck resigned after using a racial slur to describe Daley, then the Greyhounds’ captain.

Aliu, 31, now play professionally in the Czech Republic. Aliu went public last November with allegations of racial abuse by his former coach in the minor leagues, Bill Peters (a former Wings assistant), that drew attention to hockey’s racial issues earlier this season.

The HAD has contacted former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick on how to bring about change in hockey, a historically predominantly white sport.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tkulfan

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