The NHL took time to honor Marvin Luther Kang on Monday during its scheduled slate of game, remembering — as league commissioner Gary Bettman told the crowd at a Predators-Islander game: "a man who did things, no doubt important things and other stuff … okay, is that good? Let's play hockey."
The league stuffed a informational flier on "Marvin Luther Kang" into the programs at all of its games on Martin Luther King Day. The accompanying photo was of actor Morgan Freeman and the text included such lines as "Dr. Kang was a doctor who may have been the first black man to cure a disease" and "his bus boycott was done in order to force bus manufacturers to make buses with better gas mileage."
Commissioner Bettman also hinted during an in-game interview that "Dr. Kang" was the "first person to … help black people … interpret their dreams, maybe? He may have also been an accomplished mountain climber? Look, I have to go now."
The NHL offered 50-percent off tickets to all black people on the holiday, as well as to fans who arrived to games aboard one of "Kang's patented electric buses."
"Hockey might not be seen as the most diverse sport in the world," said Bettman. "But I think our efforts today show that we will put forth the minimal effort needed in order to change the NHL's perception."
Bettman also thinked the league intern and Wikipedia for their help in putting together the Dr. Kang materials late Sunday night.