This article appeared in the June 03, 2020 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Why a white, Canadian hockey star is speaking up

Jasen Vinlove/USA Today/File
Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews looks on before practice for the Winter Classic hockey game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis in January 2017.

It seems that Jonathan Toews surprised even himself. In the opening lines of his Instagram post, the white, Canadian hockey star acknowledged that his first reaction to the recent riots across the United States was that they were a “terrible response” to the death of George Floyd.

But then he links to a video of two black men arguing about how the African American community should respond. “They are lost, they are in pain. They strived for a better future but as they get older they realize their efforts may be futile. They don’t know the answer of how to solve this problem for the next generation of black women and men. This breaks my heart.”

The post is more than just one athlete’s musings. For years, black athletes have implored their white colleagues to raise their voices on racial issues – to see through their eyes. Now, that has begun to happen, from Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow to Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich – who didn’t start a recent team meeting until players had time to talk about the situation. “Few things stir the human heart and soul like injustice,” he said to the media.

In a long tweet, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz confessed, “Can’t even fathom what the black community has to endure on a daily basis.”

Former teammate Torrey Smith, an African American, noticed and responded. “You didn’t have to say a thing but you did! Love you bro!”

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This article appeared in the June 03, 2020 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 06/03 edition
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