Sharks' Couture backs Kane: Turning blind eye to racism 'cannot continue'

Len Redkoles / National Hockey League / Getty

Logan Couture is taking teammate Evander Kane's words to heart and speaking out against institutional racism in hockey and beyond.

"I don't know how to properly write this message," the San Jose Sharks captain wrote Saturday in a statement on Twitter. "First of all, I applaud Evander for speaking the truth. Racism exists in society, (and) it also exists in hockey. That's a fact. Growing up in this game is a privilege. At times I think most of us have been at fault for turning a blind eye when it comes to racism.

"It cannot continue. I've had the opportunity to play with some incredible teammates. Black, white, all colors. Getting to listen to them talk about things they have gone through in hockey/life is eye-opening. As a society and as hockey players, we are only scraping the surface in fixing what desperately needs fixing."

Kane made his feelings known Friday, saying, "We've been outraged for hundreds of years and nothing's changed," and calling upon white athletes like Sidney Crosby and Tom Brady to denounce racial injustice in the wake of incidents like the death of George Floyd.

Akim Aliu has been the leading voice of late in the movement seeking to combat racism in hockey. The former player's November revelations of Bill Peters' past use of racial slurs toward him led to the former head coach resigning from the Calgary Flames, and Aliu later met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to discuss how the league could be more inclusive.

"Thanks to Akim and Evander for speaking so loudly about this issue," Couture added. "We all need to learn, we need to love each other regardless of skin color."

Floyd, a 46-year-old Minneapolis man, died Monday after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed. Floyd's death has led to protests across the United States.

Sharks' Couture backs Kane: Turning blind eye to racism 'cannot continue'
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