San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane has been one of the most powerful voices in the entire NHL when it comes to speaking up about racism and police brutality. With the events currently happening across the nation in response to the death of George Floyd, many teams and players around the league have shown their true colors.
“Hockey is such a culture where guys are worried about what they are saying and how their reputation is perceived. Reputation for me is bullshit,” Kane said, according to The Athletic. “It’s about someone’s character. Reputation is how someone perceives you. … What I do is put stock into people’s character and it truly shows and you truly find out about someone’s character and that things are not all rainbows and butterflies. When it comes to speaking out and saying what is right and what is just and what I believe in? I don’t really care what other people have to say.
“Are there consequences in terms of making people uncomfortable? I don’t care. I think we need to make people more uncomfortable."
Kane is one of a few African-American hockey players in the NHL. Another is Akim Aliu, who has experienced racism since being drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007. He even penned a Players' Tribune piece, "Hockey Is Not for Everyone," detailing his experiences.
Kane and Aliu are among the players leading the charge against racism in hockey, but it seems the sport still has a long way to go.
Kane's latest statements come after Floyd, an African-American man, died last week after being violently apprehended by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
The 46-year-old was pinned to the ground by Chauvin, who then proceeded to kneel on his neck and prevent him from breathing. Floyd pleaded for his life and even told officer Chauvin he couldn't breathe, but Chauvin refused to move off his neck.
Floyd was later pronounced dead at the hospital, and Chauvin was arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.