Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron demonstrating true leadership

Boston Bruins, Patrice Bergeron #37 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Patrice Bergeron #37 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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On any other team in the league, Boston Bruins alternate captain Patrice Bergeron would likely be captain.

Such is the level of leadership he brings to the Boston Bruins organisation; Patrice Bergeron would’ve been the team captain a long time ago if it weren’t for Zdeno Chara being such a warrior.

That is simply the manner in which he presents himself professionally, but also in the eloquence of the statement he recently issued. It truly is hard to fathom him not being captain on any of the other thirty NHL squads.

In recent days, Patrice Bergeron has spoken out loudly and emphatically about the race issues affecting the United States and the world at large.

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He speaks to the fact that often the hockey community keeps quiet stating ‘as hockey players, we have a tendency to do our business while staying quiet, without wanting to make too much noise’ before going on to speak about it being ‘in our culture’.

For years that has been true of hockey; it hasn’t spoken out, equally though events like Willie O’Ree debuting as the first black player in the NHL passed with little fanfare at the time. Maybe this insular and team-first mentality is a positive thing in some regards, maybe not.

However, given the turmoil, Patrice Bergeron rightly is speaking up, using his standing as a professional athlete to actively point out that by not doing so ‘it’s in fact allowing racism to fester and continue.’

“I will never truly understand the fear, pain and suffering”

The Boston Bruins organisation has shown leadership with it’s statement. Also too, by allowing Patrice Bergeron to use it’s social media reach to express his thoughts and feelings, given he chooses to avoid engaging on these platforms.

Perhaps the most noble comment he makes is the fact that he is honest in saying ‘I will never truly understand the fear, pain and suffering’. It takes a smart person to admit that you can’t walk in someone else’s shoes, no matter how much you seek to understand an issue.

What takes an even smarter person is to realise that passing comment on the issue is only a small step, taking action is a much greater leap. Words can lead to change, yes, but actions are needed too.

He has donated $25,000 on both sides of the border to the Boston branch of the NCAACP and the Centre Multiethnique de Quebec. In doing so, he has displayed a great deal of initiative, leading by example.

Next. Willie O'Ree continues to be honored. dark

While Zdeno Chara has also issued a statement through a sponsor, Patrice Bergeron’s words seem to speak a little deeper. The Bruins are indeed very lucky to have such a person as part of their organisation.