San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane discusses racial equality in the NHL


Our NBC Sports Bay Area team recently sat down with San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane to discuss being one of the few Black hockey players in the NHL, the influence of his father, and how hockey can improve in terms of racial equity. Check out the feature above and see below for a few notable quotes from Evander Kane.

This past June, Evander Kane announced the formation of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, a group created by current and former NHL players, to “eradicate systemic racism and intolerance in hockey” and change the face of the sport by “inspiring a new and diverse generation of hockey players and fans.”

The Vancouver native serves as co-head on the alliance with former NHL player Akim Aliu. Wayne Simmonds, Anthony Duclair, Joel Ward, and Nazem Kadri are just a few of the other big names involved in this group, and they’ve already made a powerful impact. Last season, the HDA raised their voices and formally requested that the NHL suspend some of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoff games in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, and the league listened.

Kane and The San Jose Sharks (4-5-1) are currently seventh in the West division. The Left Wing has 8 points on the season (3G, 5A), currently tied for first in points on the team with Logan Couture. The Sharks will face the LA Kings in Los Angeles tonight at 7:00 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET) and again on Thursday night (7:00 p.m. PT/10:00 p.m. ET).

Before then, make sure you check out our brand new YouTube channel, ‘Hockey Culture’, where we will champion diversity in the hockey community through a series of in depth interviews and features. Click here to subscribe.

Evander Kane Quotes:

“Growing up as a black player in a white sport was challenging, but again I just had the mentality that I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. I didn’t care what people thought, and I worked hard to make sure that I was the best player because my dad always said they have to respect you if you’re the best–people respect goals, you’ve got to score.”

“When incidents happen or when this subject is brought up, everybody looks to the people that it can affect and in hockey, there’s very few of us. I’m one of those people that the hockey world looks to and I don’t take that lightly. These issues weren’t created by us but it’s going to take everybody to be a part of that solution.”

“As easy as it is to get frustrated about it or realize how daunting it can be, for me I enjoy doing it. I want to do it because until these things get fixed I’m never going to be looked at as just a hockey player. I’m going to be looked at as a black hockey player.”

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Be sure to check out ProHockeyTalk for more on the 2021 NHL season including game previews, recaps, news, rumors and more. Click here for the 2020-2021 NHL on NBC regular season schedule.