This past June, Nazem Kadri made headlines as the first Muslim to hoist the Stanley Cup when the Colorado Avalanche won it all. He and also silenced critics and rallied in the face of racism earlier in the postseason. Now, he’s celebrating his heritage and religion on his day with the Cup.
On Saturday, Kadri had his day with Lord Stanley in his hometown of London, Ontario. Fans waited outside the London Muslim Mosque for his parade.
Crowd gathers outside London mosque for the Nazem Kadri Stanley Cup parade, starting at noon. pic.twitter.com/Nhkx80SWlQ
— Lance Hornby 🇺🇦 (@sunhornby) August 27, 2022
Kadri walked up and brought the trophy inside the London Muslim Mosque. It is the first time that the Stanley Cup has entered a mosque in its 129-year history. He then also hoisted the Cup in the prayer room.
Nazem Kadri brings the Stanley Cup to the London Muslim Mosque.
— Amrit Gill (@AmritG) August 27, 2022
— Lorenda Reddekopp (@CBCLorenda) August 27, 2022
The magic moment: Kadri brings the cup out the front doors of the London Muslim Mosque. pic.twitter.com/d8XkhhfmF5
— Andrew Lupton (@AndrewLuptonCBC) August 27, 2022
Kadri was one of the first Muslim players drafted in NHL history and the highest drafted before the Edmonton Oilers took Nail Yakupov first overall in 2012. He said in the past he had never faced trash talk surrounding his religion on the ice. However, in the second-round series of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Avalanche and St. Louis Blues, Kadri faced racism and hate after colliding with Jordan Binnington and ending his playoff series in Game 3.
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After the game, Kadri received death threats and racial slurs on social media, including ones that referred to terrorism and called him “Arab scum.” Fans rallied around him going into Game 4 with “Stand With Naz” signs. He also had his own response to the hate: a hat trick in Game 4. And then later, a Stanley Cup. And, finally, a visit with the Cup to a mosque to celebrate his culture and background.
In addition to a Stanley Cup, Kadri is also coming off a career year in Colorado. He had 28 goals and 59 assists for 87 points in 71 games. In the playoffs, he was clutch with seven goals and eight assists, including a Game 4 OT winner in the Stanley Cup Final — through 16 games while also playing with a broken thumb.
Kadri hit free agency this offseason. After over a month of rumors and speculation, Kadri signed a seven-year, $49 million deal with the Calgary Flames.