Sharks' Kane: Athletes like Crosby, Brady need to denounce injustice

Jared Silber / National Hockey League / Getty

Evander Kane is calling on more white athletes to decry the unjust treatment of black people in the aftermath of incidents like the death of George Floyd.

"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 opinion, to voice their frustration, because that's the only way it's going to change," the San Jose Sharks forward said on ESPN's "First Take" on Friday.

"We've been outraged for hundreds of years and nothing's changed," Kane continued. "It's time for guys like Tom Brady, and Sidney Crosby, and those type(s) of figures to speak up about what is right and, clearly in this case, what is unbelievably wrong. Because that's the only way we're going to actually create that unified anger to create that necessary change, especially when you talk about systematic racism."

Kane reiterated what he said in early May about hockey culture preventing many players from speaking out.

"I'm one of the anomalies when it comes to NHL players in doing that, and that's another part of our problem is guys being scared to really speak their mind and stand up for what is right, and this example - one of many, unfortunately - (has) continued (the trend) for the last number of years and ever since I've been alive," Kane said.

The Sharks winger also pointed out how the notion of inclusivity in sports - and hockey specifically - could be more practically applied.

"In hockey, it's a majority white league by far. It's not even close," he said. "So, we need to continue to come together. And we talk about it all the time, we talk about how sports is for everybody ... (and about how) it's an inclusive thing. But when we talk about our own personal battles outside of sports, there's a lot of people that 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."

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who's white, wrote Thursday night that "the institutional racism in this country breaks my heart and needs to stop." Shortly after Kane made his comments Friday, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow - who's also white - weighed in, writing "the black community needs our help" and "they have been unheard for far too long."

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in Minneapolis, died Monday after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes while Floyd was handcuffed. The incident was recorded and shared widely on social media, leading to protests and ultimately riots in the city.

Sharks' Kane: Athletes like Crosby, Brady need to denounce injustice
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