“We wanted to create this video to show and express how some Black males in our sport, past and present, feel on this topic,” said Lethbridge Hurricanes player Zack Stringer.
He’s joined by a lengthy roster of WHL players who addressed the Black Lives Matter movement.
‘We are not asking for Black lives to be more important than anyone else. We are not asking for extra attention, we just want the same, we just want to be considered equal to everyone,” Hurricane’s player Koletrane Wilson said in the video.
He said he wanted to be a part of the video because the message is too important to ignore.
“We can only sit back for so long and just be like, ‘I hope this changes soon,’ as opposed to be like, ‘We just have to,'” Wilson said.
“Obviously its gotten to a point where, for a lack of a better term, we are forcing change.”
“We shouldn’t be labelled as a threat just because of the colour of our skin. We shouldn’t have to walk in fear, we shouldn’t have to use violence to get our point across. The Black community is hurting, I know I’m hurting seeing innocent Black people getting killed. It is hard to see, and its hard to think every cop is not bad,” Stringer said in the video.
He helped create the video, hoping to highlight the issues going on and the challenges Black athletes face, on and off the ice. He said he hopes people continue to share it and spread the message.
“A lot of WHL players have re-posted it and NHL players as well, and the NHL posted it too, and its getting good feedback so far. And hopefully it stays that way and hopefully people take the time to listen to it,” Stringer said.
The video is calling on everyone to stand up to racism, let your voice be heard and demand equality, a message all of the players participating in the video hope people hear and follow through with.
“All this oppression, all this fighting, all this rioting, they’re going to hear us. And you know, like Will Smith said, racism isn’t getting worse, it’s just getting filmed. What are you gonna do?” Montana Onyebuchi, who plays with the Kamloops Blazers, said at the end of the video.
Protests have broken out across Canada and the United States following the death of George Floyd. The Minneapolis man died in police custody after a white police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck.