Wild star Matt Dumba has become a leader among his NHL peers when it comes to fighting racism and social injustice. He’s also long been among the most philanthropic players in the league.
And on Sunday night Dumba was honored with the the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, an award given annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.
Needless to say the 26-year-old Dumba embodies everything this award is about.
Not only has Dumba been actively involved in the Twin Cities since being drafted in 2012 NHL Draft, this summer he helped form the Hockey Diversity Alliance, whose mission is to eradicate racism and intolerance in the sport.
If that wasn’t enough, Dumba became a household name to even the most casual fan on on Aug. 1 when spoke out against racism before a playoff game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers.
He talked about racism being “a man-made creation” that some people have the privilege to ignore. He literally said the words “Black Lives Matter” and promised to continue the conversation regardless of the circumstance. He then concluded his moving speech by becoming the first player in NHL history to kneel for the U.S. national anthem.
All of it took remarkable courage, especially given the culture surrounding the sport itself, and he didn’t stop there.
He raised his fist for both national anthems when the Wild took on the Vancouver Canucks in the qualifying round. He also condemned the NHL’s lack of response to the police shooting of a Black man in Wisconsin last month.
Dumba also notably launched an fundraiser to help rebuild Lake Street in Minneapolis after the riots and looting that following George Floyd’s death while in Minneapolis police custody. He partnered with the Lake Street Council and will match donations up to $100,000. The Wild and the NHL each donated $50,000 to Dumba’s initiative to help rebuild Lake Street.
He also serves as an ambassador for Athletes Committed to Educating Students and donated $11,200 to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service in Australia to help combat wildfires and to care for the victims.
Dumba will receive a $25,000 donation from the NHL Foundation to benefit a charity or charities of his choice. Other finalists were New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and the New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban.
This is the second straight year a member of the Wild has won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. Jason Zucker won last year for his charitable efforts around the Twin Cities.