Rangers probe use of racial taunts during video chat with K’Andre Miller

K'Andre Miller. (Photo by Rena Laverty/USA Hockey)

NEW YORK — A hacker posted a racial slur hundreds of times in an online fan video chat Friday with a black New York Rangers prospect.

The NHL team scrambled to disable the hacker on the Zoom chat with K’Andre Miller, the 20-year-old former Wisconsin defenceman drafted No. 22 overall in 2018.

“A vile individual hijacked the chat to post racial slurs, which we disabled as soon as possible,” the Rangers said in a statement. “We were incredibly appalled by this behaviour, which has no place online, on the ice, or anywhere, and we are investigating the matter.”

The hacker repeatedly posted the one-word slur in all capital letters on the Rangers’ “Future Fridays” series on Twitter.

The NHL also released a statement, saying:

“The National Hockey League is appalled that a video call arranged today by the New York Rangers to introduce their fans to one of the league’s incoming stars, K’Andre Miller, was hacked with racist, cowardly taunts. The person who committed this despicable act is in no way an NHL fan and is not welcome in the hockey community.

“No one deserves to be subjected to such ugly treatment and it will not be tolerated in our league. We join with the Rangers in condemning this disgusting behaviour.”

Miller signed a three-year, $3,825,000 contract a day before the NHL announced it was suspending the season because of the coronavirus. The 6-foot-5 defender from St. Paul, Minnesota, played two seasons at Wisconsin.

Rangers defenceman Jacob Trouba reacted to the hacking on Twitter.

“What happened today was inexcusable and cowardly,” Trouba said. “Racism has no place in the hockey community or the world. kandre_miller we are excited to have you as a part of the NYRangers and I look forward to having you as a teammate.”

Forward Ryan Strome retweeted Trouba’s post, adding:

“Couldn’t of said it better. This team and this organization sticks together. You are one of us and we have your back!”

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