New York Rangers prospect K’Andre Miller finally spoke out about an April incident where he was targeted by racial slurs in the comment section of a live Zoom Q&A in the wake of the George Floyd protests.
Miller issued a statement on Twitter expressing his struggle to speak out about the call in which a user repeatedly used a racial slur in the chat directed at the former Wisconsin defenseman as he discussed his new contract with the Rangers.
“It’s something that I won’t ever forget. But with COVID19 taking a stranglehold on the nation, it seemed like there were so many other priorities in the world, that it wasn’t my place to speak out about that incident,” he said in a statement. “Now, in the midst of the senseless death of George Floyd, at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, the peaceful protests and violent riots have become the focus for all of us.”
He continued: “I struggle because I’ve never been fully accepted by either the black community or the white community. I struggle because for years I have been one of the only people of color on my hockey teams. I have been targeted because of my race when I was in youth hockey by some coaches, parents and players, but I refused to give up because of my love for the game.”
Immediately after the conference call incident, the NHL issued a statement condemning what it called “racist, cowardly taunts.”
“No one deserves to be subjected to such ugly treatment and it will not be tolerated in our League.”
Miller closed his statement by stating that being drafted by the Rangers is an example of a moment in his life where he wasn’t “defined by the color of my skin” but on his capabilities and skills as an athlete.
“It’s time to let black people be judged on who we are and not what we look like.”