San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane was a guest on ESPN’s First Take earlier this week and spoke about the tragic death of George Floyd and how the sports world can do more to help fight racism.
Among the things he said, Kane mentioned that some of the caucasian superstars should start speaking up on the issue of racism more in order to raise awareness that what is happening is not right:
“We need so many more athletes that don’t look like me speaking out about this, having the same amount of outrage that I have inside, and using that to voice their opinions, voice their frustration. Because that’s the only way it’s going to change. We’ve been outraged for hundreds of years and nothing’s changed. It’s time for guys like Tom Brady and Sidney Crosby, those type of figures, to speak up about what is right and, clearly in this case, what is unbelievably wrong. Because that is the only way we’re going to actually create that unified anger to create that necessary change.”
He went on to explain that while his teammates have been “unbelievably supportive” of him and what he stands for, the culture around the sport doesn’t encourage players to publicly share their opinions:
“I think hockey, unfortunately, has a different culture than some of the other sports in terms of speaking out and using your voice and speaking your mind. I think, for me, I’m one of the anomalies when it comes to NHL players and doing that. That’s another part of our problem is guys being scared to really speak their mind and stand up for what is right.”
He went on to explain:
“We need to continue to come together. We talk about it all the time. We talk about how sports is for everybody. We talk about how sports is where you bring people together. It’s everybody’s. It’s an inclusive thing. But when we talk about our own personal battles outside of sports there’s a lot of people who are silent on issues. And they’re important issues. They’re issues that have been going on for hundreds of years and we need that same type of team mentality to be brought to issues outside of our sport.”
He’s totally right on this one!