Evander Kane has had enough and he's decided it's time for hockey to address a big problem.
That problem? Racism within the sport.
“The time is now,” Kane said according to The Mercury News. “For me, the timing for myself and where I’m at in my career, playing 10 years in this league and kind of seeing what it’s all about. Going through a bunch of different types of challenges and some adversity — and a lot of positive things as well throughout the course of my career — it’s time for that change and it’s time that hockey grows and expands, because that’s really the only way our sport’s going to grow.”
Unlike the other three major America sports, the NHL has very few African-American players. But Kane doesn't believe the small number of athletes of color should stop the league from striving for change.
“I’ve been in the league 10 years," Kane said via The Mercury News. "There’s more than just me as a black player in the NHL. I think there’s about 15 consistently active guys that are on NHL rosters on a nightly basis in the league. Just because there’s so few of us, does that mean we should ignore our history, and not embrace our history in the sport that we play? I don’t think so. I just found it ridiculous, the fact that this is the first year during my career in 10 years that it was even mentioned.”
You can bet now that Kane has brought the issue to the forefront, it will be a topic that is discussed openly as the 2019-20 NHL season approaches.
San Jose Sharks
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And with labor talks coming up, it's possible that Kane's comments could spur rules that help lead to the change he's hoping to see.
Stay tuned. This issue isn't going away, and it shouldn't.