Voices from around the hockey world have come together to condemn the death of George Floyd and lend their support to the movement against racial injustice and police brutality taking place across the globe.
Sidney Crosby, Gary Bettman, Willie O’Ree, Angela James, Georges Laraque, Kim Davis, John Tavares, Wayne Simmonds, Kelsey Koelzer, P.K. Subban and Henrik Lundqvist are among those featured in a video tweeted by Anson Carter on Friday afternoon.
In the video, the participants join together to say: “You don’t have to look like George Floyd to understand that what happened to him was wrong.”
I’m so PROUD to be a part of the NHL community. Leaders came together WITHOUT hesitation lending their incredibly powerful voices to an important issue that impacts players and our fans! #BlackLivesMatter#StrongerTogether pic.twitter.com/jfJ4eXJBth
— Anson Carter (@AnsonCarterLA) June 5, 2020
The sports world has been sending out messages of support on social media over the last week in the wake of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, while protests against police brutality targeting the Black community continue throughout the United States and across the world.
Former NHLer Akim Aliu and San Jose Sharks star Evander Kane were among the first players to speak out against racial injustice and racism in hockey.
In a video posted to Twitter on May 27, Aliu called on the game’s marquee names to join the conversation. “I also think that our star players need to stand up and have a voice in this, because they do have a big voice,” Aliu said.
Two days later, Kane did so as well during an appearance on ESPN’s First Take on May 29, saying white athletes need to use their platforms to speak up about racism.
“We’ve been outraged for hundreds of years and nothing’s changed,” Kane said. “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.”
In the week-and-a-half since, Crosby, Connor McDavid and a number of the game’s marquee stars have spoken out about Floyd’s death and systemic racism, with some also donating to causes to support the fight against racism.
Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, was killed on May 25 while in police custody after a former Minneapolis officer pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. That officer, Derek Chauvin, and the other three officers at the scene have been fired and charged.
Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while the other three officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.